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Parts of the ill-fated AirAsia Flight 8501 are unloaded from a ship. Associated Press
Plane Crash

AirAsia investigation: Crew members 'lost control' of the plane

The Airbus A320-200 crashed last year, killing 162 people.

A FAULT WITH the rudder control system was a major factor in the December AirAsia plane crash into the Java Sea that left 162 people dead, Indonesian investigators have said.

Repeated problems with the system led to the pilots disengaging the autopilot in stormy weather in a bid to fix the situation, and then losing control of the Airbus A320-200, Indonesia’s official National Transportation Safety Committee said.

In their final report into the crash, investigators said the soldering on the Rudder Travel Limiter system – which helps control the rudder’s movement – was cracked, leading it to send repeated warning systems to the pilots.

When they received the fourth warning, the pilots pulled circuit-breakers on part of the aircraft’s control system in a bid to reset the system. This turned off the autopilot, and the plane then started to roll, the report said.

“Subsequent flight crew action resulted in inability to control the aircraft,” said the report.

The plane went into a “prolonged stall condition that was beyond the capability of the crew to recover”, it said.

It added the flight data recorders did not indicate the weather had affected the aircraft.

© AFP 2015

Read: Search for AirAsia crash victims is called off

Read: AirAsia black box records warning alarms “screaming” before crash

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