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Initial GE-222 crash investigation report indicates incorrect alignment
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-08-24 03:20 PM
The Flight Safety Investigation Commission of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) released the initial report on its investigation of the crash of TransAsia Airways flight GE-222 at Makung Airport in Penghu on July 23. The CAA report says the nose of the aircraft was almost ninety degrees perpendicular to the runway at a height of only about 10 meters above the ground at one time. Shortly after that the aircraft collided with nearby trees, leading to the crash which killed 48 of the 58 persons on the flight. The agency report notes that finding the reason for the incorrect orientation will require further in-depth investigation.

Flight safety officials point out that Makung airport has only one runway for civilian use, designated Runway 20 for north-south approaches and Runway 02 for south-north approaches. Both ends of the runway have a VHF Omni-directional Range (VOR) beacon as navigation aids in making approaches to the airport.

The CAA report notes Makung Airport Runway 20 VOR was functioning normally at the time and Flight GE-222 was receiving the VOR signal before it crashed to the ground, indicated that its flight path was indeed out of alignment. Deciding whether this was caused by weather or human factors, however, will need more analysis of available data.

The report notes that the TransAsia aircraft broke through clouds and the pilot discovered that the nose of the aircraft was almost perpendicular to the runway. The pilot and co-pilot attempted to pull up over a large windbreak but did not have enough time to react. The body of the aircraft grazed a line of trees in a windbreak about a kilometer away from Makung Airport Runway 20 and the propellers were fouled by branches, causing the aircraft to lose power and eventually crash in nearby Xixi village.

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