AirAsia Investigation Reveals Pilot Left His Seat Before Crash

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January 31 (Sputnik) – Sources close to the investigation being carried out by Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) have told Reuters that the actions of the two pilots, combined with a maintenance fault, are thought to have led to the crash of Flight QZ8501, which killed all 162 people on board.



The plane's Indonesian Captain Iriyanto, an experienced pilot with 20,537 logged hours of flying, "was out of his seat conducting an unorthodox procedure when his co-pilot apparently lost control, and by the time he returned it was too late to save the plane," two people familiar with the probe told the agency.

According to the report, the Airbus A320 jet had been experiencing maintenance problems for over a week with its Flight Augmentation Computer (FAC), and that earlier in the week the captain had flown the plane after it had started showing signs of having trouble. Iriyanto, after trying to reset the flight control computer on the December 28 flight, cut power to the device.


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"You can reset the FAC, but to cut all power to it is very unusual," an anonymous A320 pilot told Reuters. "You don't pull the circuit breaker unless it was an absolute emergency. I don't know if there was one in this case, but it is very unusual." To pull the circuit breaker, Captain Iriyanto had to get out of his seat.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that at the time of the crash, co-pilot Remi Emmanuel Plesel, who had logged 2,247 flying hours, was at the controls, and that the two pilots had been confronted with alerts from the FAC, which controls rudder movements and helps to the plane remain stable and within its flight envelope, before cutting power to the system.


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"It appears he [Plesel] was surprised or startled" by the decision to cut power to off the device, the Reuters source said. In normal circumstances, even after the key flight control computer has been switched off, pilots are still able to fly the plane manually.

Ertata Lananggalih, an investigator from the NTSC, told Bloomberg on Thursday that in less than 30 seconds the Airbus climbed more than 5,000 feet (1,524 meters), and above the altitude at which it had permission to fly. Shortly before the accident, the pilots had been given permission from air traffic control to climb to 34,000 feet (10,363 meters) because of storm clouds, having four minutes earlier requested authorisation to fly at 38,000 feet (11,582 meters). Investigators told the agency that satellite images showed storm clouds at up to 44,000 feet (13,411 meters) above sea level.

AirAsia Investigation Reveals Pilot Left His Seat Before Crash / Sputnik International
 
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So basically, what caused the main pilot to resort to the "unorthodox method" was the need to avoid large storm clouds. He wanted to fly manually in order to reach 38,000 feet and avoid the storm. Now, the less experienced co-pilot was not prepared for it and ended up losing control. The result: utter disaster. Why is the media reporting things in such a scatter-shot manner? The proximate cause was obviously the storm clouds. The pilots committed errors in their attempt to spare everyone in the plane. End of story.
 
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This is terrible I had been trying to keep up with this story on the news. At least what happened has come to light, and the families have some sort of closure to what actually happened to their loved ones. This is just very sad, but maybe something good will come from it to prevent another crash of this kind.
 
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This is terrible I had been trying to keep up with this story on the news. At least what happened has come to light, and the families have some sort of closure to what actually happened to their loved ones. This is just very sad, but maybe something good will come from it to prevent another crash of this kind.
I hope so too. AirAsia has surely lost a lot of business thanks to this debacle and I am sure they are working to increase the intensity of their pilot training programs so that they are better prepared for situations like this.

Flight safety is not something that must be taken lightly and I hope that AirAsia takes the required steps.
 
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What could this imply? Does this mean that the pilot know that the plain is going to crash? Or was it just intended to crash the plane, and he's the man really behind it? Is this crash a conspiracy? There are much more to think about with what's happening in the world nowadays, but everything seems to be going worse.
 
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I must admit I have never flown. Call me chicken, but I just can't see myself boarding an airbus. I know that I am more likely to die from a car crash. That's fine with me, I've been in several car wrecks. They were pretty bad the first could have easily killed me I went airborne. Hey but, if I was offered a ride on Air-Force 1. I would take it in a minute the safest plane in the world in my opinion.
 
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Wow. Then this is some malpractice then. This is sad. Now lots of lives have been jeopardized. I wonder what the airline has done to the families of the victims.
 
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I don't know how the airline will reach out to the families of the victims. As for any kind of law suit if it were me. I would demand answers, and I wouldn't let up. Someone has to be held accountable for this crash.
 
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Planes are designed as such that one failure will not lead to a total failure of the plane. This unorthodox procedure might have triggered something that is beyond the current design of the ship. Pulling all power off could disable the hydraulics system. That I am familiar with. I wonder if the procedure the captain did was on the checklist. Hmm~
 
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So basically the pilot took matters into his on hands. If in fact he did something he wasn't suppose to do. This could be what happened. Maybe it will all come out, and the truth will be told.
 
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I can't help but be anxious. My family is pretty much scattered all over the world but at least twice a year, everyone takes a flight back tot he Philippines. And since me and one of my sisters live in Malaysia (me) and Singapore (my sister), everyone often makes a stop in either country before going our separate ways. Now whenever trips are brought up for discussion, I often tell them to just stay still for now, well at least until the recent tragedies involving Asian airlines have been sorted out and made some improvements to secure everyone's safety.
 
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I don't blame you for that I would be hesitant too. I do believe until questions are answered about these crashes. It's safe to say flying is not a good idea.
 

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