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April 20, 2019

Transport plane crashed due to adverse weather: investigators

Visible Cloud Image With Flight Path.

The military transport plane that disappeared on 7 June with 122 on board crashed after losing control during adverse weather conditions, according to an investigation and analysis by the Tatmadaw of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.
No survivors have been found, but scores of bodies were found in the weeks following the crash. The Y-8 model plane was flying from Myeik to Yangon on 7 June when contact was lost soon after takeoff from Dawei airport at 1:55 pm about 43 miles south-west of Dawei. By 2 pm military planes, naval vessels and ground forces together with privately owned fishing boats and civilians conducted daily search and rescue operations and found the tail section of the plane with the flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR), collectively referred to as the “black box”, on 18 June.
A third-party joint investigative group was formed with Brigadier General (Air) Htin Lin, Lieutenant Colonel (Air) Zaw Lin Aung and experts from Tatmadaw (Air), Myanmar Accident/Incident Investigation Bureau (MAIB) of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Deputy Director U Aung Maw, Maj. David Andrew Wade and Mr. David Hilton of Australia Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety (DDAAFS). The joint investigation group met with representatives of the China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) on 30 June in Yangon.
The joint investigation group then travelled in Xian, China on 5 July and downloaded the data from the FDR and CVR on 6 July. The downloaded data was then converted into a readable format, officials said. The OEM company Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Qianshan Avionis Co. then officially transferred the data to the joint investigation group on 7 July. This data as well as the CVR that shows voice communication of the air crew was reviewed thoroughly from 8 to 14 July.
Based on the FDR recordings, it was concluded that there was no equipment malfunction of any part of the plane up to 1:32 pm local time. According to FDR and CVR records, while en route from Myeik airport to Yangon airport, the wind speed increased gradually from 9 nautical miles (16.7 km) per hour to 44 mile (81.5 km), at which time the heating system to heat both wings was activated in order to fly through the clouds. Within the short time span of flying time between 1 hour, 30 minutes, 18 seconds to 1 hour, 31 minutes, 22 seconds, an alarm was triggered indicating icing in the aircraft engine air intake.
Between the flying time of 1 hour, 31 minutes and 50 seconds and 1 hour, 32 minutes and 10 second, a cross wind from the left side of the aircraft increased from 9 miles (16.7 km) to 48 miles (88.9 km) per hour, causing the aircraft drift angle deviate 3 to 15.8 degrees from the flight path. The irregular weather conditions and the sudden increase in cross wind increased the still speed, the data indicated. This was found to be the main reason for loss of control, officials said. Based on the weather report and the FDR and CVR data, the accident occurred due to loss of control after experiencing adverse weather that caused the plane to stall, or lose the ability to attain lift, resulting in a spin, also known as a nose dive. The pilot was unable to recover control, according to investigators.
The third party including Australian technicians joint investigation group conducted the investigation according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13 protocol and concluded that the aircraft had crashed from loss of control due to adverse weather condition, and not from any act of sabotage, explosion or engine failure.

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