Indonesia to release crash investigation report on AirAsia QZ8501

(CNN)The way pilots responded to a technical malfunction resulted in the crash of an AirAsia flight into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board, investigators said Tuesday.

AirAsia Flight 8501 was en route to Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya on December 28 last year when it crashed.

It was one in a string of aviation disasters that occurred in Asia in 2014, including the mysterious disappearance of MH370 over the Indian Ocean and the crash of TransAsia Flight 222 on a Taiwanese island.

In the AirAsia disaster, the system that regulates the plane’s rudder movement kept malfunctioning because of a cracked solder joint. Aircraft maintenance records found it had malfunctioned 23 times in the year before the crash, and the interval between those incidents became shorter in the three months prior to the crash, Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee said in a report.

“Subsequent flight crew action resulted in inability to control the aircraft … causing the aircraft to depart from the normal flight envelope and enter a prolonged stall condition that was beyond the capability of the flight crew to recover,” the report said.

In other words, “it’s a series of technical failures, but it’s the pilot response that leads to the plane crashing,” CNN’s aviation correspondent Richard Quest said.

The way pilots responded to a technical malfunction resulted in the crash of an AirAsia flight into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board, investigators said Tuesday.

AirAsia Flight 8501 was en route to Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya on December 28 last year when it crashed.

It was one in a string of aviation disasters that occurred in Asia in 2014, including the mysterious disappearance of MH370 over the Indian Ocean and the crash of TransAsia Flight 222 on a Taiwanese island.

In the AirAsia disaster, the system that regulates the plane’s rudder movement kept malfunctioning because of a cracked solder joint. Aircraft maintenance records found it had malfunctioned 23 times in the year before the crash, and the interval between those incidents became shorter in the three months prior to the crash, Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee said in a report.

“Subsequent flight crew action resulted in inability to control the aircraft … causing the aircraft to depart from the normal flight envelope and enter a prolonged stall condition that was beyond the capability of the flight crew to recover,” the report said.

In other words, “it’s a series of technical failures, but it’s the pilot response that leads to the plane crashing,” CNN’s aviation correspondent Richard Quest said.

Source : CNN


JAKARTA – Indonesia is set to publish on Tuesday (Dec 1) the results of its investigation into last year’s crash of an Indonesia AirAsia passenger jet, the first official explanation to the families of the 162 people killed in the disaster.

The Airbus A320 crashed into the Java Sea on Dec 28 last year, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia’s second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore.
It is one of a string of aviation disasters in South-east Asia’s biggest economy where rapid growth in air travel has overcrowded the country’s airports and raised safety concerns.

The report, to be released around 0700 GMT, is expected to offer the first official explanation on why Flight QZ8501 disappeared from radar, after the Indonesian Transportation Safety Committee declined to publish its preliminary report.

Among the facts released so far, the French first officer was at the controls just before the accident and a stall warning sounded in the cockpit, indicating that the jet had lost lift.

The report is expected to focus in particular on whether any of the airplane’s systems were faulty and how pilots responded.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this year that investigators were examining maintenance records of a key part of the aircraft’s control systems.

According to reports, one of the pilots attempted to shut power off to the intermittently faulty computer by pulling circuit-breakers, a procedure not usually allowed in flight.

Two sources told Reuters that the captain appeared to have left his seat in order to do so, but Indonesian investigators said in February they had not found evidence for this or that power was deliberately shut off.

Experts say an outage of the so-called Flight Augmentation Computers would not directly cause the plane to crash, but without them, pilots would have to rely on manual flying skills that are often stretched during a sudden airborne emergency.

The report is not designed to attribute blame but to make recommendations to avoid future accidents.

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes has vowed to support the investigation and said in August that the group had already ordered a review of its systems following the crash.

Source : AsiaOne

 

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