Plane: Turboprop passed safety check
He said the weather on Wednesday morning was “OK” and the pilot had 4,914 flying hours and the co-pilot 6,922 flying hours.
Lin said the crashed ATR 72-600 is not the same model as the ATR 72-500 that crashed on Penghu, west of Taiwan, last year killing 49 people.
Wednesday’s accident is being investigated, and it is too early to say if other TransAsia Airways planes will be ordered to stop flying, Lin said.
Wu Peixin, an aviation expert in Beijing, said he does not think the ATR 72 has serious safety problems.
“I think the accident could have been caused by a flame out in the left engine, which led to the plane stalling,” Wu said. “The pilot might have tried to pull it out of the dive, but failed.”
Dong Jianhong, a senior designer of turboprops at the Aviation Industry Corp of China, said the ATR 72 enjoys half the global market for turboprops, due to simple design and low operation costs. Lin Yicheng in Xiamen and Sun Li in Beijing contributed to this story. Contact the writer at hena@ chinadaily.com.cn