Focus Taiwan: Chopper crash likely unrelated to mechanical failure, weather: TTSB

Taipei, Jan. 4 (CNA) Based on information recovered from the crashed UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter’s two flight data recorders, the cause of the crash was unlikely related to mechanical failure or weather factors, a Taiwan Transportation Safety Board (TTSB) official said Saturday.

Based on a preliminary investigation by the TTSB, the official told reporters that mechanical fault could be 80 percent ruled out as the likely cause of the crash, while the weather, including elements such as turbulence and wind shear, could be 80 percent-90 percent excluded.

The data recorders, however, contain a memory card that can only be decoded by the American aircraft manufacturer.

According to the TTSB, the card will be delivered to Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. as it contains a great deal of important data involving the helicopter’s mechanics, as well as its operational handling.

Only when the information has been deciphered can it be 100 percent ascertained that the cause was unrelated to the mechanical failure, the TTSB official said, adding that the possibility of human error was also being considered.

The helicopter was carrying high-level military personnel to a base in Dong’ao, Yilan County for a pre-Lunar New Year inspection when it went down in the mountains of Wulai, New Taipei, at 8:07 a.m. Thursday.

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