Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Taiwan TransAsia Airplane Crash 3 February 2015

Below is the original footage from a dashcam - a wondrous invention, btw, serving up much more interesting footage than the Gopro ever will.

Very sad, many people lost their lives. The latest conclusion is that the two-engine plane suffered an engine failure shortly after take-off. Experts say that the plane still could have flown with just one engine. The pilot, though, who apparently was not very well trained (to be kind to him), accidentally stopped the remaining working engine because he got mixed up about which engine was which. Still, at a low altitude and with no engines running (it takes time to re-start an engine, time the plane did not have, especially given the pilot's inexperience), the crew did somehow manage to maneuver the swiftly falling craft away from apartments and into a river. This no doubt saved a lot of innocent lives and property damage, though they themselves all died.

Below is the news summary released not long after the crash. Notice how, without anyone knowing what truly happened, the account paints the pilot as a hero. While that may be true in a very narrow sense, from a broader perspective he is believed to be the one who caused the crash in the first place. It is sort of like Captain Smith on the Titanic, he ran the ship into an iceberg but did at least get the lifeboats off later.

At least 25 people were killed Wednesday when a passenger plane operated by TransAsia Airways carrying 58 people clipped a taxi driving on the highway and an overpass soon after take-off and plunged into a river in Taiwan,. The plane barely evaded some residential buildings. The pilots did a truly heroic job avoiding a true residential Armageddon by getting the plane into the river.

Rescue workers had difficulty getting to the site quickly despite it being in the middle of town. Some reports said that it took three hours to really get the full-scale rescue operation working properly, though no doubt some rescue workers arrived much earlier, perhaps within minutes.

A crane lifted the rear and central sections of the plane from the water during the night after the crash, with one body retrieved from inside. The front part, where 17 people are believed to be trapped, was still in the water a day later.

TransAsia said 16 survivors had been pulled out of the wreckage after the turboprop plane crashed. Many of the passengers were mainland Chinese tourists. It was the airline's second crash in seven months.

And below is an animation that includes the next step, the plane crashing into the river. One interesting aspect of this crash is that we can compare the animation with actual footage. While there are minor discrepancies (notice the angle of the plane as it crosses the highway), the animation is very accurate.


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