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Published on Monday, February 9, 2015

TransAsia flights cancelled as pilots to be tested

TransAsia Airways has cancelled dozens of flights as all 71 pilots who fly its ATR planes are to undergo proficiency tests after it emerged that pilot error might have been a contributory factor in the fatal crash of Flight GE235.

The tests were ordered by Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) at the weekend and the CAA said any pilots who fail the tests will be grounded until they have completed retraining.

"All of TransAsia's 71 ATR pilots will undergo tests to be carried out by the CAA and third-party professional units for an estimated period of four days," the airline said.

The order came after it emerged the pilot of GE235 may have manually turned off one engine while the second 'flamed out', causing the plane to crash into the Keelung River in Taipei.

The flight data recorders recovered from the wreckage revealed that power to both engines was cut just seconds after the plane took off from Taipei airport with 58 passengers and crew onboard.

The death toll has risen to 40, with three people still unaccounted for.

The CAA also revealed TransAsia's fleet of ATR aircraft has suffered five engine failures in the last five years.

The airline has started paying out compensation to victims' families. Next of kin are to receive US$38,000 to pay for funeral costs, the airline said

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