Ten TransAsia pilots suspended after failing skills test

Ten TransAsia pilots suspended after failing skills test

Ten TransAsia pilots suspended after failing skills test

Ten TransAsia ATR pilots have been banned from flying temporarily after failing a flight skills test ordered after last week's plane crash that killed at least 42 people, the island's aviation regulator said today.

TransAsia Airways Flight GE235 crashed shortly after take-off from Songshan airport in Taipei on Wednesday last week with 53 passengers and five crew on board, in the carrier's second fatal accident in seven months.

Taiwan's aviation regulator ordered the airline's pilots to take an oral test on basic operating and emergency procedures for the French-made aircraft, after initial findings pointed to pilot error as being behind the crash.

Those who failed the test have been grounded for one month and ordered to undergo further qualification training, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said.

"Of the 49 pilots and co-pilots who took the tests aimed to measure their proficiency in the operation of aircraft were evaluated as 'less skillful'," said Lin Chih-ming, director of the CAA.
"They have to take further training programmes. From the risk management perspective, this is a must," he said.

Of TransAsia's 68 pilots trained to fly ATR planes, 19 have not yet taken the test, because they are either on training programmes abroad or sick leave, and have been ordered not to fly in the interim, the CAA said.

Alarmed by the recent crash, Taiwan's transport authorities have asked the CAA to step up safety checks on all domestic airlines.

"In an instruction to the CAA, the minister has given top priority to flight safety this year," Clark Lin, chief of CAA Flight Standard Division, told AFP, adding that the checks would focus on flight operation maintenance and airworthiness.

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