*Indonesia AirAsia report blames plane malfunction and flight crew for 162 deaths in Flight 8501 crash
*An independent investigation blamed both mechanical and electrical malfunctions on board Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 and the flight crew for a crash that killed all 162 people on board in the Java Sea.
The pilots switched from autopilot to manual during the Dec. 28, 2014 flight because of four repeated master alarms warning of a faulty rudder, causing the Airbus A320 to severely bank at an altitude of 32,000 feet.
The manual override caused the passenger jet to “enter an upset condition” halfway through its trek from Surabaya to Singapore.
An alarming number of rudder malfunctions caused by a cracked solder joint on the rudder’s electrical card went unchecked 12 months before the deadly crash, investigators revealed.
Investigators found the rudder's computer malfunctioned 23 times. During the doomed flight, the plane stalled at a 54 degree “beyond the capability of the flight crew to recover,” the report stated.
The crew was unable to send a distress signal during the ordeal. The report finalizes that weather did not play a factor in the crash.
AirAsia Chief Tony Fernandes said his thoughts are with the families of the passengers and crew that perished on board the flight. “There are scars that are left on me forever, but I remain committed to make AirAsia the very best,” Fernandes tweeted. “We owe it to the families and my crew."
There is much to be learned here for AirAsia, the manufacturer and the aviation industry," Fernandes added. "We will not leave any stone unturned to make sure the industry learns from this tragic incident."
The report states AirAsia has performed 51 safety actions to "improve the existing conditions."