Date
24 August 2017
Searchers scour the waters near the TransAsia crash site. Five more bodies have been recovered from the Keelung River, bringing the death toll to 40. Photo: Reuters
Searchers scour the waters near the TransAsia crash site. Five more bodies have been recovered from the Keelung River, bringing the death toll to 40. Photo: Reuters

TransAsia cancels flights to retrain pilots

Taiwanese airline TransAsia Airways is cancelling 90 flights so that its pilots can attend training after one of its planes, an ATR 72-600, crashed on Wednesday.

The decision came after civil aviation authorities ordered retraining for all TransAsia pilots flying its ATR fleet, BBC News reported Monday.

“All 71 ATR pilots will take part in proficiency tests carried out by the Civil Aviation Administration and third-party professionals for an estimated four days,” TransAsia Airways said in a statement.

Officials have also ordered engine and fuel system checks on the remaining 22 ATR-manufactured planes currently in active service.

Flight GE235 plunged into a river in the capital Taipei, killing at least 40 of the 58 people on board.

Officials are probing why both plane engines were off during the crash.

Data suggests that the pilots, who are among the dead, may have shut one engine off after the other lost power.

Meanwhile, five more bodies were retrieved from the Keelung River on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 40, the report said

The bodies were found downriver from the crash site.

Divers and rescuers are scouring the river for three more people who remain missing. Fifteen others were rescued alive from the plane on Wednesday.

Thomas Wang, executive director of Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council, said on Friday that the plane’s right engine triggered an alarm just 37 seconds after taking off from the Taipei’s Songshan airport.

The main pilot could be heard on cockpit voice recordings saying the engine had experienced a “flame-out”, Wang said, which can occur when the fuel supply to the engine is interrupted.

However, he said data showed that the engine had in fact been moved into idle mode.

Seconds later, the pilots shut down the left engine, meaning neither engine was producing any power. A restart was attempted, but the plane crashed 72 seconds later.

Officials said it was unclear why the left engine had been turned off, especially as the plane is able to fly with just one functioning engine.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

CG/RA

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