Blackbox data from the TransAsia plane that crashed into a river in Taipei has revealed that engines failed to produce enough thurst after take-off, investigators said on Friday.
Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council said that the right engine entered a state called 'auto-feather', in which it reduced thrust to the propeller. The flight crew reduced acceleration to the left engine and then attempted to restart it, but it did not gain enough thrust.
"The first engine experienced a problem 37 seconds after take-off at 1,200ft," Thomas Wang, managing director of the council, said during a media briefing after a preliminary examination of the flight recorders.
He said the pilot had announced a "flame-out", which can occur when fuel supply to an engine is interrupted or when there is faulty combustion, but there had not been one.
"The flight crew stepped on the accelerator of engine two [right-hand side]... The engine was still operating, but neither engine produced power."
As E&T news reported, Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has ordered all ATR-built aircrafts operated in the country to undergo technical checks in the aftermath of the crash.
The plane was powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW127M engines, which had been installed in April last year after a technical problem with the original engines was discovered during the delivery flight.
The plane underwent a complex maintenance procedure just two weeks ago and neither of its previous flights on the day of the crash indicated any problems.
Flight GE235 carried 58 passengers and crew, at least 35 of whom died when the plane crashed. Fifteen people survived.