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Published on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Report finds what caused fatal crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501

The Airbus A320-200 had a faulty rudder system which caused the crash, says the first major report into the disaster last December.

It also found that actions by the crew in response to the malfunction contributed to the plane crashing into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people onboard.

The system that helps control the rudders had cracked soldering, said the National Transportation Safety Committee, which caused it to send repeated warning messages to the pilots.

When they received the fourth warning alert they responded by re-setting the system, which caused the autopilot to disengage and as a result they lost control of the aircraft.

The AirAsia plane was 40 minutes into the flight from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore when it lost contact with air traffic control.

It had earlier requested permission to climb from 32,000 feet to 38,000 feet to avoid storm clouds, but it was refused due to heavy traffic in the area.

The AirAsia plane was flying at a lower altitude than all the surrounding aircraft, but the report said bad weather wasn't a contributory factor in the crash.

The report said it crashed after climbing sharply, then stalling. French co-pilot Remi Plesel was at the controls at the time, rather than the more experienced Captain Iriyanto.

Wreckage and bodies were found around 10 miles from the plane's last known co-ordinates, but only 106 bodies were eventually recovered from the sea with the rest remaining unaccounted for.

The report, released earlier today, found that theRudder Travel Limiter had 23 problems in the12 months prior to the crash, according to the aircraft's maintenance records.



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