Crash cause determined: AirAsia Plane Crash

Published: December 3, 2015

Crash cause determined: AirAsia Plane Crash, The final report from Indonesia’s national transport safety agency said an existing fault in the system that controlled the Airbus A320-200’s rudder had set off a chain of mechanical and human error events that caused the crash.

But it was the pilot’s decision to reset the system, which turned off the plane’s autopilot, and inexperience in flying in such difficult conditions that then sent the aircraft into a sharp roll from which it never recovered.

Speaking as the report was released, investigator Nurcahyo Utomo said AirAsia pilots were not properly trained on handling Airbus aircraft when they were severely destabilised as it was not recommended by the manufacturer.

But the former head of France’s aviation authority, the BEA, which governs France-based Airbus, furthered that AirAsia had not followed the agency’s rules on training.

The BEA set new regulations for pilots after Air France flight AF447 between Rio and Paris was lost in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, under similar circumstances to the AirAsia flight.

“Several recommendations of the [BEA] on the subject of pilot training were clearly not implemented by this aviation company,” former BEA director Jean-Paul Troadec said.

Gerry Soejatman, an aviation consultant with Jakarta-based consultancy CommunicAvia, said both the AirAsia crash and AF447 had happened after a technical problem followed by the plane stalling.

“It’s all in the manual, but we still have these two cases where the pilot did not do the right thing in stall recovery,” he said.

“It’s likely that they did not realise they were in a stall or did not have adequate training in how to exit from a very severe stall at high altitude.”

‘Scenario has played out in the past’
The Indonesian investigative report provided the latest clue into what brought down Flight QZ8501 on December 28 last year, during what was supposed to be a routine flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

The bodies of 56 people have never been recovered, despite a huge and lengthy international search involving ships and aircraft from several nations in often stormy seas.

Investigators had previously blamed bad weather for bringing down the plane, but the new findings showed both poor equipment and inadequate training for emergency situations were to blame.


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