Jakarta: AirAsia Flight QZ8501 which plunged into the Java Sea in December 2014 resulting in the death of all 162 passengers on board has been revealed as the cause of the pilots’ response to technical malfunction and a faulty component in the plane, an Indonesian official said on Tuesday.
The plane was en route to Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surbaya on December 28, 2014 when it crashed into the Java Sea, CNN reported.
The plane’s flight control computer had a cracked solder joint that kept malfunctioning, Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC) said in a report.
Aircraft maintenance records found it had malfunctioned 23 times in the year before the crash, and the interval of those became shorter in the three months prior to the crash.
“Subsequent flight crew action resulted in inability to control the aircraft causing the aircraft to depart from the normal flight envelope and enter a prolonged stall condition that was beyond the capability of the flight crew to recover,” the report said.
The investigation, a joint effort involving Australian, French, Singaporean and Malaysian authorities, points to weaknesses in pilot training, which heavily emphasizes on take off and landing, an aviation expert said.
Preliminary findings from the NTSC earlier this year said roughly 35 minutes into the two hour flight, the pilot asked air traffic control for permission to climb to avoid stormy weather.
From initially crusing at 32,000 feet, the plane then ascended acutely to 37,400 in about 30 seconds which is slightly unusual for a commercial plane to do. This information gives rise to the fact that the plane had been climbing twice the pace it had been designed for.
Minutes later, the plane disappeared from radar.
Albeit the weather in the area was turbulent in pattern, seven other plane landed on the ground safely.
Malaysia-based AirAsia did not have the clearance to fly the route on that particular day.
(With inputs from IANS)