Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council (ASC) confirmed Thursday reports stating that the pilot of the TransAsia flight 235 accidentally shut down the working engine after the other one lost power. The plane, which was carrying 53 passengers and five crew members, crashed in February, killing 43 people.
Just three minutes after takeoff, the captain of the plane was heard saying: "Wow, pulled back the wrong side throttle," Reuters reported, citing the ASC statement released on the investigation into the crash.
The confirmation from ASC comes after a source revealed Wednesday that the reason behind the crash was a mistake made by the pilot.
“The pilots made a mistake here. What makes this even more unbelievable, and unfortunate, was that the mistakes took place even though there were three pilots in the cockpit,” the source told Reuters Wednesday, adding: “That is why the focus of the investigation has been narrowed to the pilots and pilot training at TransAsia.”
The latest report by Reuters on Thursday said that the data readings showed that the almost-new turboprop ATR 72-600 stalled and crashed soon after the blunder. A draft report is set to be released in November and the final report -- which will include the cause of the crash and recommendations -- is expected to be completed by April 2016.
Relatives of the victims of the crash were offered over $470,000 in compensation, but many of them rejected it, citing dissatisfaction with the amount and the method of payment.
The airline was ordered by the government to retake proficiency tests for the pilots after the February crash became the fifth for the airline since 1995. Ten pilots who failed the test and 19 others who did not take the tests were suspended in February.