Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Chilling video shows plane crash in Taiwan

The crash of a TransAsia ATR-72 today in Taiwan was captured in a dramatic video from a dashboard camera in a taxi. The 25 second video, along with another longer but more distant video, can be seen on

The video shows the turboprop airliner descending rapidly across a bridge in front of the taxi. As it descends, the airplane rolls approximately 90 degrees onto its left wing. As the plane passes in front of the taxi, its left wingtip and tail strike the road in front of the car before it disappears from view.

According to a report from BBC, TransAsia Airways Flight 235, also referred to as GE235, crashed shortly after takeoff from Taipei Shongshan Airport. Pilots radioed that there was an “engine flameout” according a New York Times report. After passing in front of the taxi’s camera, the airplane came to rest in the Keelung River, a short distance from the airport. The flight was enroute to Kinmen and carried 53 passengers and five crew. At least 19 people are reported dead.

The New York Times reported that both pilots were very experienced. The 42-year-old captain had 4,914 hours including 3,400 in the ATR. The first officer was 45-years-old and had 6,922 hours with 6,500 in ATRs. Nevertheless, preliminary information appears to indicate that the airplane suffered an engine failure on takeoff and that the crew was not able to maintain control.

This is the second fatal crash for TransAsia in six months. Last July, another ATR crashed while landing in a monsoon. That crash killed 48 people.

The ATR 72 is built by the French and Italian company, ATR. The type first flew in 1988, but the New Times reports that the accident aircraft, an ATR 72-600, was only a year old. Although the ATR was once flown by American airlines, it is now principally operated in the US as a cargo freighter by FedEx. In 1994, an American Eagle ATR crashed in Roselawn, Ind. That crash was attributed to airframe icing.

Recovery efforts are still underway in the TransAsia crash. Several of the plane’s passengers are still missing.


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