Black box data from the TransAsia Airlines turbo-prop plane was retrieved and has revealed that power to both engines was cut, when the crash became eminent.
Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council told that the engines failed to produce enough thrust for about two minutes right after take-off.
Available data also suggested that the flight crew tried to stop and restart one of the engines to gain moment. But, it was without success.
Flight GE235 had 58 passengers and crew on board, at least 35 of whom died at the spot when the plane crashed into a river. Fifteen people survived the crash.
In a briefing by investigators in Taipei, the aircraft ran into trouble just 37 seconds after taking off from Taipei’s Songshan airport.
Thomas Wang, director of the Aviation Safety Council, said the pilot announced a “flame-out”, which can occur when the fuel supply to the engine is interrupted or when there is faulty combustion.
However, he said there was no flame-out, and the right engine had actually shifted into idle mode without the oil pressure having changed.
“The plane flashed a flame-out signal for one of the two engines at 10:53:28 when the plane climbed to an altitude of 1,200ft, triggering a warning,” AFP news agency quoted Mr Wang as saying.
“Then the other [left] engine was shut down manually. The pilot tried to restart the engines but to no avail.
“That means that during the flight’s final moments, neither engine had any thrust. We heard ‘Mayday’ at 10:54:35,” he added.
The plane, which had been bound for Taiwan’s Kinmen Island, crashed into the Keelung River just 72 seconds later.