Taiwan authorities order checks on ATR planes

2015-02-05 10:19
Rescue personnel work to free passengers from a TransAsia ATR 72-600 turboprop plane that crash-landed into a river outside Taiwan's capital Taipei in New Taipei City. (Sam Yeh, AFP)

Rescue personnel work to free passengers from a TransAsia ATR 72-600 turboprop plane that crash-landed into a river outside Taiwan's capital Taipei in New Taipei City. (Sam Yeh, AFP)

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WATCH: Aftermath footage of the TransAsia crash

2015-02-04 15:01

Amateur footage has emerged of the aftermath of the TransAsia GE235 plane crash in Taipei. The visuals show wing debris on the bridge and the plane's final resting place in the adjacent Keelung river, with emergency services attending to the scene. Watch. WATCH

Taipei - Taiwan's aviation regulator on Thursday ordered all operators of ATR planes in the country to conduct "special checks" on their aircraft, a day after a TransAsia Airways plane crashed and killed at least 31 people.

The checks will focus on the engines, fuel control system, propeller systems, and spark plugs and ignition connectors in the turboprop planes, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said in a statement.

A grounding of Taiwan's 22 ATR aircraft was not ordered despite the incident, the second fatal crash involving a TransAsia plane in seven months.

Twelve people were still missing after the crash of TransAsia Flight GE235, which was carrying 58 passengers and crew.

The plane was on its third flight of the day and there were no records of any malfunction in the previous two flights, the CAA statement said.

An air traffic control recording on liveatc.net showed that the last communication from one of the aircraft's pilots was "Mayday Mayday engine flameout".

A flameout occurs when the fuel supply to the engine is interrupted or when there is faulty combustion, resulting in an engine failure. Twin-engined aircraft, however, are usually able to keep flying even when one engine has failed.

The plane was powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW127 engines. Pratt & Whitney is part of United Technologies.

Macau's Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement the plane's engines had been replaced at Macau Airport on 19 April last year, during its delivery flight, "due to engine-related technical issues".

TransAsia has 10 remaining ATR turboprop aircraft, a combination of 72-500s and 72-600s. Its aircraft that completed the checks resumed operations on Thursday, the CAA said.

Uni Air, a subsidiary of EVA Airways Corp, operates 12 ATR 72-600s.

"We are conducting the checks, but we have not grounded the aircraft," an EVA Air spokesperson said.

China Airlines, Taiwan's largest carrier, does not operate ATR planes.

ATR is a joint venture between Airbus and Alenia Aermacchi, a subsidiary of Italy's Finmeccanica.

France, where the aircraft was designed and built, and Canada, where the engines are manufactured, will both be involved in the investigation, which will be led by Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council.

Read more on:    transasia  |  taiwan  |  air crashes

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