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AirAsia 8501 Ascended, Then Stalled Before Crash

  • VOA News

Tatang Kurniadi, left, chief of the National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), holds a model plane during a news conference in Jakarta, Jan. 29, 2015.

Tatang Kurniadi, left, chief of the National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), holds a model plane during a news conference in Jakarta, Jan. 29, 2015.

Aviation officials in Indonesia say an AirAsia Flight 8501 that crashed into the Java Sea last month ascended steeply, then stalled and hurtled toward the sea, with the co-pilot at the controls.

In a news conference Thursday, investigators from Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee said the plane's voice recorder indicated that the Airbus A-320's "stall" warning came on during the plane's ascent and continued until it made impact with the water.

It also indicated that co-pilot French national Remit Emmanuel Plesel, who has about 6,000 flight hours, was at the controls when the plane went down. Indonesian pilot Iryanto with some 20,000 flight hours, was monitoring the flight.

All 162 people aboard the plane died when it crashed on December 28. Divers have recovered 70 bodies from the wreckage.

The flight was en route from Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, to Singapore when it went down.

Rescue and recovery operations were hampered by rough seas and poor visibility. The plane's flight date recorders, or "black boxes," were located two weeks ago.

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