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Checks on Taiwan's ATR fleet to focus on engines

Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration’s (CAA) ordering of checks on the country’s fleet of ATR turboprops focuses on the aircraft’s engines.

CAA has listed three areas the checks should focus on - the fuel control and engine fuel system, as well as the propeller control system.

The checks will also explore the implications of engine washing with water, with regards to plugs, connectors and drainage.

TransAsia Airways’ fleet of 11 ATR 72s are on the ground undergoing checks. They can only return to operations after CAA is satisfied with the process. A CAA official tells Flightglobal that TransAsia has to complete the checks by 5 February.

The country’s only other turboprop operator Uni Air meanwhile has until 6 February to complete the checks on its 12 ATR 72-600s. The CAA official says the Eva Air subsidiary can continue to operate their ATR fleet, as checks are being done concurrently.

At a press conference in Taipei this morning, TransAsia says that there has so far been no evidence of a bird strike in the crash of flight GE235 into the Keelung river.

Flight GE235 was on the Taipei Songshan-Kinmen route when it crashed shortly after take-off. Footage of the aircraft’s last few seconds indicate that the aircraft was fully stalled, though both propellers were turning. Local media reports say the pilots of the flight had made a Mayday call to Songshan air traffic control tower declaring an engine flame-out.

At an earlier press conference, it was revealed that the turboprop previously had a faulty left engine which was replaced in Macau. The ATR 72 was powered by Pratt & Whitney PW100-127M engines.

The aircraft, registered B-22816, was built in 2014 and last underwent scheduled maintenance on 26 January.

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