Taiwan Plane Crash Part 3: Plane stalled before crashing

BY CHARL BOSCH - FEBRUARY 4, 2015

A well-known aviation expert has said that the dash-cam footage of the doomed TransAsia ATR 72-600 turboprop shows that the plane stalled moments before clipping a bridge and crashing into the Keelung River in Taiwanese capital, Taipei, on Wednesday.

In a blogpost for flightglobal.com, aircraft safety and operations experts, David Learmount, said that the last few seconds of the video indicates that Flight GE235 had no power due to its altitude making it impossible for the wings to generate enough lift to keep the speed up.

“If an aeroplane is flying too slowly in level or descending flight it is normally because there is insufficient power to keep the aircraft’s speed up. The question for the investigators is why was there insufficient power,” said Learmount.

He added that although the plane’s propellers were turning moments before it smashed into a taxi and then the bridge, “it does not necessarily mean they were being supplied with sufficient power to fly safely”.

“If engine power is lost, the un-powered propeller can cause a lot of drag by windmilling, making the aircraft difficult to handle. Under those circumstances the crew would normally “feather” the propeller to cut the drag”.

Learmount also said that a secondary factor could well have played a part in the crash as the French-Italian built ATR 72 can fly on one engine.

Reports on the exact death toll continue to vary with some sources putting the figure at 19, while others claim it to be as high as 23. A total of 53 passengers and five crew were on-board the flight from Taipei’s Sung Shan airport to the island of Kinmen.

 

CAPTION: A TransAsia ATR 72-600 landing at France's Toulouse Blagnac airport in February 2014. IMAGE sourced from www.planespotters.net

 

RELATED ARTICLE

READ MORE: TAIWAN PLANE CRASH PART 2: DEATH TOLL RISING

READ MORENINE KILLED IN DRAMATIC ASIAN PLANE CRASH