Indonesian air force chief: Crashed plane had propeller problem

'The plane turned rightward after takeoff and was flying at a lower than normal speed', he says

Baku. 2 July. REPORT.AZ/ The aging Indonesian military transport plane that crashed into a residential neighbourhood of Medan killing 141 people had a propeller “abnormality” that indicates an engine stalled, the air force chief said Thursday.

Report informs, Air Marshal Agus Supriatna told reporters the fact that the plane turned rightward after takeoff and was flying at a lower than normal speed also suggests an engine failure.

Before crashing shortly after takeoff on Tuesday, the C-130 Hercules hit a 35-meter (115-foot) radio antenna, he said. “By hitting the antenna, I imagine it certainly affected the plane,” Supriatna said.

The search for bodies ended Wednesday. The plane was carrying 122 people and the impact also killed people on the ground. The wreckage of the plane has been removed from the neighbourhood in Indonesia’s third largest city and two nearby roads have been reopened. The smell of jet fuel still lingers around the crash site.

Supriatna said the early findings of the investigation suggest a propeller was “feathered” by the pilot, using a technical term to describe a high-angle position for the blades that reduces the tendency of the plane to swing in the direction of the failed engine.

“If there was feathering that means the engine was dead,” he said.

The C-130 was carrying many more passengers than the military first reported. Initially, the air force said there were 12 crew members on the 51-year-old plane and did not mention passengers. It then repeatedly raised the number of people on board, indicating confusion about how many people had boarded and alighted during a journey covering several cities.

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