Report into AirAsia crash blames ‘icing’ of plane’s engines –

Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2015

Péter Marosszéky, an aviation expert at Australia’s University of New South
Wales, said Airbus had previously had problems with icing but these had all
been fixed.

“Icing is an unlikely cause of damage or a stall because these modern aircraft
can resist the effect of icing,” he told The Telegraph.

“These planes have anti-icing which precludes icing on the wing surface or on
the critical parts of the engine. Unless those systems were not working, it
would be pretty unlikely that icing was a factor.”

More than a week since the plane crashed during a flight from the city of
Surabaya for Singapore, search crews are still battling heavy weather as
they try to recover the bodies of passengers and locate the plane. So far,
the corpses of 34 of the 162 people on board have been found.

A recovered part of the Airbus A320-200 at Iskandar Airbase in Surabaya,
Indonesia (Getty)

Five large objects have now also been located in a confined section of the
Java Sea and are believed to be the plane’s tail and wings. The largest
object was 59 feet by 18 feet, found at a depth of 98 feet.

Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, said the
latest object picked up by sonar imaging was 33 feet long.

The finding that “icing” damaged the plane’s engines emerged as the Indonesian
government has increasingly sought to blame AirAsia for breaching
regulations in the lead-up to the crash.

Ignasius Jonan, Indonesia’s transport minister, has accused the low-cost
airline of failing to use official weather reports in pre-flight briefings
to the flight’s pilots. AirAsia denied the allegations, saying it received
briefings four times a day from the meteorological agency and these were
immediately passed on to pilots.

Indonesian Minister of Transportation Ignasius Jonan, right, during a
press conference (EPA)

Mr Jonan has also accused AirAsia of operating the doomed flight without
permission to fly from Surabaya to Singapore on Sundays. The airline has now
been banned from operating any flights on that route.

AirAsia has denied the flight was illegal, while Singapore’s aviation
authority has confirmed that the airline had permission to operate daily
flights there.

But there are suggestions that the airline may somehow have received an
improper permit in Indonesia, a nation whose aviation authorities have been
plagued by mismanagement, poor administration and allegations of corruption.

Djoko Murjatmodjo, the acting head of air transport in Indonesia’s
transportation ministry, told The Jakarta Post: “We know [someone] must have
given the permit. We’re looking into the who and why.” Meanwhile,
authorities are continuing with the grim and painstaking task of finding and
identifying the bodies. The head of Indonesia’s disaster victims
identification unit, Anton Castilani, said it could take up to two weeks to
identify all the passengers after their bodies are recovered.


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