(TAIPEI, Taiwan) — One of the engines on TransAsia Airways Flight 235 went idle soon after takeoff, and the pilots apparently shut off the other before the plane crashed, according to Taiwan’s top aviation official.
Aviation Safety Council Executive Director Thomas Wang, speaking at a Friday press conference, presented preliminary findings based on the flight data recorders, which were recovered after the plane crashed in the Keelung River.
Within a minute of takeoff, Wang said, the plane’s right engine triggered an alarm, but was not shut down as the pilot indicated to the control tower.
After that, the pilot apparently shut down the left engine — the only engine producing power — a maneuver that Wang said officials are continuing to investigate.
The plane started quickly losing altitude, and while a restart was attempted, the plane crashed just 72 seconds later, Wang said.
Wednesday’s crash killed at least 35 people, with eight still missing. Four bodies were recovered Friday, officials said.
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