TAIWANESE investigators examining the night-time crash of a TransAsia Airways ATR 72 on 30 January are trying to determine why the aircraft was around 1,500ft (430m) below its prescribed altitude.

The ATR 72 turboprop was cleared to land and the pilot was about to begin the approach to Taipei's Sungshan domestic airport when the aircraft hit a mountain at around 1,100ft, killing all four crew on the aircraft.

According to a source at TransAsia (formerly Foshing Airlines), the aircraft should have been at 2,500ft when it crashed near Linkou, south of Taipei. Visibility was described as up to 9km (5nm), in light rain. The voice and data recorders have been recovered for analysis in France. Both of the aircraft's pilots were highly experienced.

Source: Flight International