Unqualified TransAsia pilots to be re-evaluated mid-March: CAA

02/25/2015 12:07 PM
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Taipei, Feb. 25 (CNA) TransAsia Airways (復興航空) ATR 72 pilots who did not pass a competency test following the carrier's second deadly air crash in less than a year will receive a second test in mid-March, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Wednesday.

The 10 pilots who failed the evaluation after a TransAsia ATR 72 turbo-prop plane crashed on Feb. 4 were suspended from flying and have been undergoing remedial training since the Lunar New Year holiday, CAA officials said.

Another 45 TransAsia ATR 72 pilots who passed the exam will be tested on a flight simulator in Bangkok by the end of February, and those who fail the simulator evaluation will also be suspended from active duty, according to the agency.

The airline currently has 13 other ATR 72 pilots training overseas, and they will be given the same two-round evaluation as their colleagues after returning to Taiwan, the CAA said.

These 13 pilots will be barred from flying until they pass the tests, the CAA stressed.

CAA Director General Lin Tyh-ming (林志明) said the agency will focus on the airline's personnel training and management of flight operations in the near future before drafting long-term plans to improve the country's overall flight safety.

The ongoing re-evaluation of the competence of TransAsia's pilots was urged after preliminary readings of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from the ATR 72-600 that crashed in Taipei indicated that human error may be behind the accident.

The Feb. 4 crash, which killed 43 of the 58 people on board, came just months after another TransAsia ATR 72 plane crashed in the outlying county of Penghu in July 2014, killing 48 of the 58 people on board.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Lee Hsin-Yin)ENDITEM/ls

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