Indonesian investigators have determined what brought down the AirAsia passenger plane that crashed into the Java Sea nearly nearly a year ago, killing all 162 people on board.
Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed as a result of technical failures and the crew’s response to them, according to a report published Tuesday by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee. Australia, France, Singapore, and Malaysia joined Indonesia in the months-long investigation.
Flight 8501 took off from Surabaya, Indonesia, on December 28, 2014, bound for Singapore. Just 42 minutes into the two-hour fight, the Airbus dropped off radar screens in Jakarta. Search crews located the wreckage in January, and recovered the plane’s black boxes, which contain flight data and audio from inside the cockpit.
According to the report, a system that controlled the movement of the aircraft’s rudder failed four times, sounding alarms that could be heard on the cockpit audio recording. Each time, the pilots reset the computer system that controls a range of airplane functions, including rudder movement, by turning it off and then on again. Operations resumed normally. The trouble began seconds later, when someone inside the cockpit attempted to reset the computer system again, this time by pulling out and then reinserting circuit breakers.