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TransAsia ATR flight data suggests wrong engine shut down

Flight-data recorder information suggests the crew operating the crashed TransAsia Airways ATR 72-600 may have shut down the left-hand engine of the aircraft shortly after the right-hand engine flamed out.

Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council has released engine plots from the recovered flight-data recorder that appear to show that, shortly after takeoff, a master warning indicated a flame-out of the right-hand powerplant. The aircraft was at an altitude of around 1,200ft at the time.

The data indicates that the propeller of the right-hand engine feathered.

But less than a minute after the warning, the data shows a fuel shut-off to the left-hand engine. There is no indication on the data plot that a flame-out warning was active for this engine.

Around the same time, air traffic control communications show that the crew made a 'mayday' call, citing an engine flame-out.

Further data from ASC shows that around 42s after shutting off the fuel to the left engine, it was restarted, around the same time that a stall warning sounded.

At no time was fuel to the right-hand engine shut off, the data suggests.

The cockpit voice recorder stopped recording around 16s after the engine restart, indicating that the aircraft had crashed.

ASC is continuing its investigation, in collaboration with French and Canadian air safety investigators. Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney and ATR are also involved. The 2014-built ATR 72-600, registered B-22816, crashed shortly after takeoff from Taipei Songhan airport, while operating flight GE235 to Kinmen.

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