JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

French co-pilot flying AirAsia jet before crash: investigators

Thursday, January 29, 2015, 14:41 GMT+7
French co-pilot flying AirAsia jet before crash: investigators
Tatang Kurniadi, chief of the National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), holds a model plane during a news conference in Jakarta January 29, 2015.

The French first officer of an AirAsia passenger jet that crashed into the sea last month was at the controls just prior to the accident, Indonesia's lead investigator said on Thursday.

Data from the black box flight data recorder has provided the accident probe with a "pretty clear picture" of what happened in the last moments of AirAsia Flight QZ8501, but officials offered few details.

The Airbus A320 vanished from radar screens in bad weather on Dec. 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia's second-biggest city of Surabaya toSingapore. All 162 people on board were killed.

"The second-in-command, popularly known as the co-pilot, who usually sits to the right of the cockpit. At the time, he was flying the plane," said head National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC) investigator Mardjono Siswosuwarno, referring to first officer Remi Plesel.

"The captain, sitting to the left, was the pilot monitoring."

Captain Iriyanto, 53, was believed to have taken over control of the aircraft from Plesel when it started to ascend and then descend sharply, officials said.

The cause of AirAsia's first fatal crash, which occurred around 40 minutes into the flight, was still unknown.

Investigators said the cockpit voice and flight data recorders showed that the plane had been cruising at a stable altitude before the accident. The aircraft was in sound condition when it took off, and all crew members were properly certified, they said.

"The plane was flying before the incident within the limits of its weight and balance envelope," Mardjono said. "While the flight crew had valid licences and medical certificates."

Indonesia has previously said the aircraft climbed abruptly from its cruising height and then stalled, or lost lift, before plunging out of control into the sea.

NTSC chief Tatang Kurniadi told the same Jakarta news conference that Indonesia had submitted its preliminary report on the crash to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Wednesday, as required under global aviation rules.

The report, which has not been made public, was purely factual and contained no analysis, he said, adding that the full, final report would take at least 6-7 months to complete.

On Wednesday Indonesia said the search for dozens of victims still unaccounted for could end within days if no more bodies were found.

A multinational search and recovery operation has found 70 bodies in the Java Sea and had hoped to find more after finding the fuselage of the plane. But days of rough weather and poor underwater visibility hampered navy divers' efforts.

Reuters

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news