#OnThisDay in 2015, TransAsia Airways Flight 235 crashes into the Keelung River.

1 year ago today, TransAsia Airways Flight GE235 (B-22816) was a domestic flight from Taipei Songshan Airport, Taiwan to Kinmen Airport, Taiwan. The ATR 72-600 was carrying 53 passengers & 5 crew members.

TransAsia Airways Flight GE235 departed from Taipei Songshan Airport at 10:52 a.m. Taiwan time (02:52 UTC), for its destination of Kinmen Airport. It climbed to an altitude of 1,500 feet (460 m) and then began descending until it crashed. The last pilot communication to air traffic control was “Mayday, mayday, engine flameout.” At 10:54, the aircraft crashed into the Keelung River, on the border of Nangang District of Taipei and Xizhi District of New Taipei.


The crash was recorded by the dashcams in several cars travelling west along the elevated Huandong Viaduct next to the river. The aircraft, flying level, first cleared an apartment building. Then rolled sharply, at nearly a 90-degree bank angle, left wing down. As the aircraft flew low over the elevated viaduct,  its left wingtip struck the front of a taxi travelling west on the viaduct, and the outboard section of the wing was torn off when it struck the concrete guardrail at the edge of the viaduct. The aircraft continued its roll and impacted the water upside down, breaking into two main pieces. Two people in the taxi were injured.

Taipei police and fire departments received dozens of calls from eyewitnesses, almost immediately after the crash. The Taipei Fire Department, military and volunteer rescue workers arrived at the crash scene only minutes later. They began removing survivors from the rear section of the semi-submerged fuselage and ferried them to shore in inflatable boats. Divers were forced to cut the seat belts of dead passengers, located mostly in the front section, to remove their bodies. That work was made difficult by low visibility underwater.

The aircraft’s flight recorders were recovered shortly after 4 pm local time. After 8 pm cranes were used to lift large sections of the fuselage ashore. Of the 58 people on board the flight, only 15 survived. The bodies of the captain & co-pilot were recovered on the 5th of February.
The Taiwanese Aviation Safety Council (ASC) is leading the investigation into the accident. According to the executive director of the ASC, Thomas Wang, the aircraft’s right engine triggered an alarm just 37 seconds after takeoff. Whereas the crew reported an flameout, according to Wang, data showed one of the engines had in fact been moved into idle mode. Soon the right engine failed to produce enough thrust for its rotating propeller, lapsing into auto feathering. A restart was attempted, but the aircraft crashed 72 seconds later.
On 6 February, investigators revealed that the left engine, which does not appear to have suffered a malfunction, had been manually shut off.
The ASC issued an interim report on 2 July. Without assigning responsibility for the crash, the report confirmed that after the failure of one engine the pilot incorrectly shut down the other working engine. It also said that the pilot in command had failed simulator training in May 2014, partly because of his insufficient knowledge about the procedure for handling an engine flameout on takeoff. He passed a re-test the following month.
The ASC is expected to publish its final report in April 2016.
Article By: @AirCrashMayday