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AirAsia QZ8501: Probe Vets Possible Computer Glitch, Crew Response

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PARIS: Investigators probing the crash of a Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 are examining maintenance records of a key part of its automated control systems, and how the pilots may have handled the plane if it failed, two people familiar with the matter said.

An outage of the twin Flight Augmentation Computers (FAC) could not have directly caused the Dec 28 crash, experts say, but without them the pilots would have had to rely on manual flying skills that are often stretched during a sudden airborne emergency.

“There appears to be some issue with the FAC,” a person familiar with the investigation said, adding that more information was being sought from the manufacturer and airline.

Indonesia has said the Airbus A-320 jet climbed abruptly from its cruising height and then stalled, or lost lift, before plunging out of control into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board.

A second person familiar with the probe said investigators were looking at how the pilots dealt with the chain of events leading up to the crash. Neither person agreed to be identified, because details of the investigation remain confidential. – Reuters

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