The flight crew of a TransAsia ATR-72 shut down the working nr. 1 engine after the nr. 2 engine had auto-feathered shortly after takeoff, according to a preliminary report issued by the Taiwanese Aviation Safety Council.
TransAsia flight GE235 took off from Taipei-Sung Shan Airport on February 4, 2015 on a flight to Kinmen, Taiwan. On board were 53 passengers and five crew members. The Pilot Flying, a captain, was in the left hand seat and the Pilot Monitoring, also a captain was in the right hand seat. A first officer was observing.
The ATR-72 became airborne at 10:52:01 hours local time. After climbing through 1,200 feet the master warning sounded. The Engine and Warning Display (EWD) showed “ENG2 FLAME OUT AT TAKE OFF” procedures.
The report states that the Auto Feather Unit (AFU) of the right hand engine (nr. 2) reported torque values lower than 25% to the Multi Function Computers (MFC). The Automatic Take-off Power Control System (ATPCS), which was still engaged, then commanded the nr. 2 propeller to auto-feather. The Pilot Flying then disengaged autopilot and announced “I will pull back engine one throttle”. To which the Pilot Monitoring responded “wait a second cross check”, but the nr. 1 engine Power Lever Angle (PLA) was already retarded from 75 degrees to 66 degrees.
At 10:53:00, the Pilot Monitoring stated “okay engine flame out check”. The Pilot Flying responded “check” and Pilot Monitoring then stated “check uptrim yes, auto feather yes”.
At 10:53:05 Pilot Flying responded “okay” and almost at the same time the Pilot Monitoring stated “watch the speed”, the speed at that moment was 101 knots. Then the Pilot Flying stated “pull back number one” and the nr. 1 engine PLA was further retarded to 49 degrees.
Simultaneously the Pilot Monitoring said “okay now number two engine flameout confirmed”, and the Pilot Flying responded “okay” but the nr.1 engine PLA still remained at 49 degrees.
At 10:53:09, the airplane reached 1,630 ft, the highest altitude recorded in the flight, and the speed was 102 knots. One second later the stall warning sounded with associated stick shaker activation.
The Pilot Monitoring stated “okay push, push back”. The Pilot Flying then stated “shut”, to which the Pilot Monitoring responded “wait a second…throttle throttle”. The nr.2 engine PLA was advanced to 86 degrees and the nr. 1 engine PLA was retarded to around 34.5 degrees (idle position).
At 10:53:19 the Pilot Flying said “number one” and followed “feather shut off”, in the mean time Pilot Monitoring called “number feather”. Then the stick shaker and stick pusher warnings were triggered several times.
At 10:53:24, the nr.1 condition lever was put at the fuel shut off position, and 6 seconds later the engine nr. 1 propeller reached the feather position. The speed was 110 knots at 1,165 ft descending.
At 10:53:35, the Pilot Monitoring declared a Mayday to ATC. The flight crew then tried to engage the autopilot twice, but did not succeed. The observing first officer then said “how come it becomes like this”. At 10:54:05, the Pilot Monitoring stated “we lost both sides”, two seconds later, the Pilot Monitoring realized and stated “both engines were flameout”.
By the time the aircraft had descended to 545 feet, the Pilot Flying stated “restart the engine” several times. From that time on, the airplane entered stall conditions until the end of the flight.
At 10:54:20, the engine nr.1 condition lever was moved out of shut off position and began spooling up. The speed at that moment was 106 knots, the altitude was 400 ft, and the airplane started to bank to the left. The Pilot Flying then said “wow pulled back the wrong side throttle”.
The left hand bank increased from 10 to 80 degrees and the EGPWS sounded “Pull-up”.
At 10:54:35 the airplane impacted a taxi driving on an overpass, then hit the fence and a light pole at the edge of the overpass and continued to bank left after impact, then crashed into
the river with an upside down attitude. Four crew members and 39 passengers sustained fatal injuries.
A post-accident inspection of the nr. 2 engine did not reveal any mechanical issues. A post-accident inspection of the Auto Feather Unit of engine nr. 2 showed some torque sensor anomalies.
A review of crew training records showed that the Pilot Flying failed his simulator check when upgrading to captain in May 2014. One of the comments made pertained to “Insufficient knowledge of QRH (ENG FLAME OUT AT T/O)”. He passed the second simulator check and became captain in July 2014. In October 2014 he received a one-week ATR 72-500/600 difference training. One of the instructor comments following the final simulator check was “Check EFATO (Engine Flame Out at Take Off) call out and task sharing”.
The investigation is continuing.