Investigators have published a final report in the probe of Air Asia flight QZ8501 which crashed in December last year on it’s way from Surabaya to Singapore, killing all 162 souls on board.
The loss of QZ8501 in late December marked the end of a year that was overshadowed by several high profile plane crashes devastating people all over the world.
After concluding the investigation, the committee reported that a faulty part and subsequent crew action ultimately led to the stall / crash of the aircraft.
CNN reports about the findings (access here).
The way pilots responded to a technical malfunction resulted in the crash of Air Asia Flight QZ8501, investigators said Tuesday. The ill-fated plane was en route to Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya on December 28 last year when it crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board.
The plane’s flight control computer had a cracked solder joint that kept malfunctioning. 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,” Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee said in a report.
It’s difficult to blame isolated incidents without reading the report in it’s entirety but having a known technical malfunction on an aircraft that isn’t properly taken care of is everything but a calming thought. Stall situations lead to many air crashes already including the one of Air France 447.
You can find the full report of the National Transportation Safety Committee here.
Air Asia is a rapidly growing airline in the region and one has to wonder if all training standards are met in a way that it conforms to international regulations. Nevertheless, the fact that there was also a technical malfunctions also shift blame to the operational management and maintenance schedule of the company.
Even very seasoned pilots have stalled their aircraft and crashed in a critical situation when they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with their aircraft so it can’t be reasoned with lack of seniority though (possibly) lack of training and awareness.
Hopefully this report will give the families closure a year after they lost their friends and relatives.