A TransAsia Airways ATR-72-600 regional airliner crashed this week shortly after take off in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei.
Dashcam footage of the harrowing incident show the airliner banked sharply before striking a highway bridge and into the Keelung River.
Taiwanese aviation authorities said that the pilots reported an “engine flame-out” before the twin-engine airliner plunged into a river.
“An ATR-72 has enough power to climb on just one engine,” commercial pilot and publisher of aviation blog Jetwhine.com Robert Mark told Business Insider.
“However, if both engines went out, then that’s a whole different ball game.”
According to USA Today, of the 58 passengers and crew on board, 31 died in the crash. Another 12 are still missing.
Here’s everything we know so far about the airline and the aircraft that went down.
The aircraft in question is a French-built ATR-72-600 regional airliner and is one of 11 ATRs in TransAsia’s fleet. According to Airfleets.net, the aircraft involved in the crash — registration number B-22816 — is almost brand new, with the airline taking delivery just nine months ago.
Founded in 1981, ATR (Avions de Transport Regional) is a joint venture between Airbus Group and Italian aerospace firm Alenia Aermacchi for the stated purpose of building advanced regional airliners.
Powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW127M turboprop engines, the ATR-72-600 and its predecessors have been one of the most popular regional airliners in the world since their debut in 1989. According to Airsafe.com, today’s accident marks the seventh fatal crash for the aircraft type.
“The ATR is a good, reliable aircraft,” Mark said. “It’s been on sale for long time with a good safety record.”
TransAsia Airways is a small regional carrier based in Taipei. According to the Airfleets.net, the airline’s fleet of 22 aircraft ranges from turboprops, such as the the ATR, to wide-body, long-haul jets like the Airbus A330. With scheduled and charter flights, the airline serves mostly customers in East and Southeast Asia.
According to Taiwanese news, this week’s crash is the seventh incident involving a TransAsia ATR-72 in the last 15 years. It’s the third fatal crash involving a plane in the airline’s ATR fleet.
A TransAsia ATR cargo plane crashed in 2001 due to ice forming on its wings, while another of the airline’s ATR-72 passenger planes crashed last July in the Penghu Islands, off the coast of Taiwan, while trying to land in bad weather.
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