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Fatal Flight 222’s pilot didn’t comply with safety, Taiwan council says

A forensic team recovers human remains among the wreckage of crashed TransAsia Airways flight GE222 on the outlying island of Penghu, Taiwan, Thursday, July 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A forensic team recovers human remains among the wreckage of crashed TransAsia Airways flight GE222 on the outlying island of Penghu, Taiwan, Thursday, July 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

(Bloomberg) -- Pilots at the control of TransAsia’s fatal Flight 222, which killed 48 people, repeatedly didn’t comply with standard operating procedures on safety and were likely fatigued from overwork, according to the final accident report published by Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council.

In addition, the pilot failed to identify the minimum distance from the ground required for landing, the council said in the report. Ten people survived the crash of GE222, flown using a twin-engine ATR-72 turboprop.

Related: Are you aviophobic yet? Taiwan plane crashes in failed emergency landing

"The captain was likely overconfident in his flying skills," the Council said. "That might lead to his decision to continue the approach below the minimum descent altitude without an appreciation of the safety risks associated with that decision."

The plane was making a second approach to Magong Airport on Taiwan’s outlying Penghu Islands on July 23, 2014, when it went down amid heavy rain from tropical storm Matmo. It was the first of two accidents in seven months for the Taiwanese carrier, raising issues of pilot training and safety procedures. Another TransAsia turboprop plunged into the Keelung River in downtown Taipei four minutes after takeoff on Feb. 4, 2015.

TransAsia respects the findings and expresses its deepest apology, pledging to improve flight safety and pilot management, the Taipei-based carrier said in a statement. 

Pilots on Flight 222 couldn’t find the runway seconds before their aircraft crashed, according to an accident report published by the council in December 2014. The two pilots knew that weather conditions fell below minimum requirements for landing at Magong when they took off from Kaohsiung at 5:45 p.m. on July 23, the council said then.

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