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AirAsia crash: Faulty part ‘major factor’

Faulty equipment was a “major factor” in the AirAsia plane crash last December that killed all 162 people on board, Indonesian officials say.

The plane’s rudder control system malfunctioned four times during the flight – a fault that occurred 23 times in the preceding year, officials said.

Their report added that the crew’s response contributed to the disaster.

The Airbus A320-200, travelling from Surabaya to Singapore, crashed into the Java Sea on 28 December 2014.

Investigators had initially indicated that stormy weather was a major factor in the crash – however, they now say that this was not a cause.

The new report from the National Transport Safety Committee, released after a year-long investigation, found that the soldering on a tiny electronic part in the system that controlled the rudder was cracked, causing it to send four warning signals to the pilots.

The crew tried to fix the problem by resetting the computer system, but this disabled the autopilot. They then lost control of the plane.

The plane then entered “a prolonged stall condition that was beyond the capability of the flight crew to recover”, the report said.

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  • The pilot appeared to have pulled a circuit breaker to reset the computer system to fix the rudder problem.
  • This switched off the autopilot on the plane.
  • With no autopilot, the less experienced co-pilot took over the plane – however, aircraft can fly a little differently without autopilot.
  • Investigators say the co-pilot appeared “startled” and “disorientated” as the aircraft banked sharply. He kept pulling the nose up until the plane stalled.
  • The pilot did not appear to take over, as he is trained to do.
  • There appeared to be miscommunication between the two men – at one point, they seemed to push their joysticks in opposite directions.

 

Source: bbc.com

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