Saturday, 16 April 2016

Air traffic controllers charged over crash

TAIWAN has charged two air traffic control officers with causing a TransAsia plane crash that killed 49 people in 2014, the first prosecutions in the island’s worst air disaster for a decade.
The plane’s two pilots, who died in the crash, were also blamed for flying Flight GE222 into a residential area as the aircraft attempted to land at Magong city airport in the Penghu islands.
“The four people are found to have been negligent in their duties over this crash,” the Penghu prosecutors said in a statement on Thursday, referring to the two air traffic control officers and the pair of pilots.
The pilots will not be prosecuted, (gee I wonder why!!!) but ground staff in charge of air traffic that day are being sued for criminal negligence, which carries a jail term of up to five years.
Taiwan’s aviation body in January said the pilots had caused the crash on July 23, 2014, by flying too low as they tried to land during a typhoon.
The probe also blamed other factors for the disaster, including poor communication of weather information to the flight crew and coordination issues at Magong airport.
Prosecutors said on Thursday that a senior duty officer at Magong surnamed Ching, and another member of staff surnamed Li contributed to the crash by not allowing the plane to land.
The pair spoke for 12 minutes after receiving the plane’s request to land but Ching did not give the necessary approval considering the bad weather conditions.
TransAsia has seen several accidents in recent years that have raised concern about the airline’s safety standards.
The plane crashed in a heavy storm near Magong Airport on Taiwan's Penghu island, leaving 49 dead. Ten people survived. The crash was the first of two fatal TranAsia incidents within the span of seven months.
The second crash, involving TransAsia flight 235, happened when the aircraft clipped a bridge in Taipei and came down in the Keelung River in February 2015, leaving 43 people dead.
The aircraft was an ATR72-500 B-22810 (CN 642)
While I was doing some research on this aircraft I found the below list of accidents the airline has had.

  • On 30 January 1995, a TransAsia Airways ATR 72-200 (B-22717) crashed into a hillside during flight from Penghu to Taipei. All 4 crew members died.
  • On 6 January 1996, a man, disappointed with domestic political and social developments in Taiwan, hijacked TransAsia Airways Flight 529, an Airbus A321-131,en route to Tainan.
  • On December 21, 2002, Flight 791, an ATR 72-200 (B-22708), crashed due to icing, during a flight from Taipei to Macau. Both crew members died.
  • On March 21, 2003, Flight 543, an Airbus A321-131 (B-22603) collided with a truck upon landing at Tainan Airport at the end of a flight from Taipei Songshan Airport.
  • On 18 October 2004, Flight 536, an Airbus A320-232 (B-22310), rolled off the runway during landing 321 feet from the end of runway 10 at Taipei Songshan Airport, ending up with the nosegear in a ditch.
  • On July 23, 2014, Flight 222, an ATR 72-500 (B-22810) carrying 54 passengers and 4 crew members from Kaohsiung to Magong crashed near Magong Airport on Penghu Island. Forty-nine people were confirmed dead while at least 7 of the 11 survivors were seriously injured. Some reports suggest there were also 5 casualties on the ground when the plane impacted residential buildings. This crash is the deadliest for the airline. The cause was the pilot's intentional descent below minimum descent altitude during an approach in a storm.
  • On February 4, 2015, Flight 235, an ATR 72-600 (B-22816), had an engine failure after takeoff and crashed at 10:56 AM local time into the Keelung River near Taipei, killing 43 of the 53 passengers and 5 crew on board.
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