A crash investigator with the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crash noted that the voice recorder black box revealed that sirens were “screaming” in the background as pilots talked among each other. The sirens were indicating a stall that the pilots were frantically trying to stabilize.
According to ABC Australia, the crash investigator noted that “several alarms” could be heard going on in the background as pilots attempted to stabilize the Airbus. One of the alarms heard in the background was indicated as a “stall” warning. The siren is in place to tell pilots that the plane is stalling and they need to stabilize the plane before it crashes.
“The warning alarms, we can say, were screaming, while in the background they (the pilot and co-pilot) were busy trying to recover.”
The crash investigator, Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), also noted that the sirens were going off “for some time” and effectively drowned out much of the pilots conversation. The black box containing the flight’s technical information indicated that the plane made a rapid accent, beyond what would be normal for this case, before stalling and falling into the shallow sea.
“In the final minutes, the plane climbed at a speed which was beyond normal.”
The Daily Mail reports that the full report is expected to be released next week with the safety committee’s findings. However, some are drawing comparisons between the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crash and the crash of AirFrance Flight 447.
“Analysts said the AirAsia jet’s rapid ascent had echoes of the crash of an Air France jet into the Atlantic in 2009, with the loss of 228 lives. Air France flight 447 vanished en route from Rio to Paris at night during a storm. The Airbus A330’s speed sensors were found to have malfunctioned, and the plane climbed too steeply, causing it to stall. The investigation into AF447 found that both technical and human error were to blame. As with the AirAsia disaster, the accident happened in an area around the equator where north and south winds meet, and thunderstorms are common. ‘The similarities are pretty striking,’ said Daniel Tsang, founder of Hong Kong-based consultancy Aspire Aviation.”
Though crash investigators have not released the full report, they did indicate that no foul play was expected, but instead the crash was likely the result of weather, mechanical, or pilot error. However, some aviation experts urge the public to wait for the official findings before pointing fingers at pilot error.
“To be honest we don’t know what happened with QZ8501… it is possible to have a rate of climb of 6,000 feet if you have very severe turbulence and based on what they’re asking before they lost contact, that they want to change altitude, I believe at that level they are experiencing turbulence, that’s why they are not changing for left or right to avoid the weather.”