Preliminary information released by the Aviation Safety Council (ASC) of Taiwan shows that the TransAsia ATR-72 that crashed at Magong on July 23, struck trees after deviating from a VOR approach.
The accident involving an ATR-72 of TransAsia Airways cost the lives of 48 of the 58 occupants. Flight GE222 had departed from Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH) at 17:43 on a scheduled domestic flight to Magong Airport, Penghu Islands, Taiwan. The flight had been delayed from 16:00 hours because of poor weather as a result of Typhoon Matmo that was passing through the area.
Preliminary inforation from the ASC shows that the flight arrived near the Penghu Islands at 18:11 and entered a holding pattern to the northeast. The Magong airport has a single runway 02/20. Runway 02 offers an ILS approach, while for runway 20 VOR/DME is available.
At 18:27 the following weather information was passed on to the crew: runway 02: wind from 210 degrees at 5 knots, gusting to 11 knots; runway 20 wind from 190 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 15 knots. Visibility was 800 meters.
The crew then requested a runway 02 ILS approach and proceeded towards the south. At 18:43 a preceding UNI Air ATR-72-600, flight 647, requested a VOR approach to runway 20. This probably made the crew change their minds, since they subsequently also requested a VOR approach to runway 20. This was approved. The UNI Air flight landed at 18:56.
At 19:03 the controller cleared flight 222 to land on runway 20, reporting wind from 250 degrees at 19 knots.
At 19:05:44 the autopilot was disengaged an at about 19:05:58, the aircraft began to deviate to the left, descending below the glidepath. The flight had deviated about 340 m the left of the extended runway centreline when, at 19:06:11, the flight crew reported they were going around. About two seconds later the airplane contacted 5-6 m high trees, cutting a swath for about 100 meters. The airplane remained airborne for about 200 m until impacting a residential area.