Netizens yesterday expressed gratitude to pilots of the ill-fated TransAsia Airways Flight GE235, saying that a study of the plane’s flight history suggested that the pilots tried to fly along the river to avoid crashing in residential areas.
While what caused the plane to crash into the Keelung River (基隆河) was still being investigated by authorities, many netizens on Professional Technology Temple (PTT) — the nation’s largest academic online bulletin board — commended what they said was “skillful maneuvering” by pilot Liao Chien-tsung (廖建宗) and copilots Liu Tzu-chung (劉自忠) and Hung Ping-chung (洪炳衷).
According to a screenshot taken from Flightradar24.com, a live flight-tracking Web site, and posted by a netizen going by the username JimmyMcNulty, the plane — despite swerving sharply immediately after it took off from Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 10:52am — was brought close to the course of the river.
Source: Professional Technology Temple
After another sharp swerve, the pilots, apparently aware of an imminent crash, once again directed the plane over the river, where it crashed, JimmyMcNulty said.
The Web site’s record of the flight indicated that the aircraft’s altitude plummeted from 381m at 10:53am to 91m in less than one minute, just seconds before the documentation ended.
Netizens on PTT interpreted the initial swerve as the aircraft deviating from its course and lauded the pilots’ handling of the crisis.
“You can tell from the flight’s course that the pilots tried to avoid hitting residential areas by staying close to the waterway,” a netizen named eddieyu said in a comment.
“The results would have been more unimaginable if the plane had fallen in the city or crashed into the commercial building nearby,” another with the username snow730 said.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
SCENIC TRAIN TOURS: TRA Director-General Du Wei said experts on aesthetics and railway culture have worked for 10 months to restore the blue locomotive Breezy Blue, the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) tourism train, is to be launched on the South Link Line on Saturday. The railway operator spent about 10 months restoring the blue diesel-powered train, which first provided service to students and commuters before being outsourced to Lion Travel, which organizes railway tour packages. TRA Director-General Du Wei (杜微) told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) that the agency hopes that the restored Breezy Blue would provide an authentic experience to railway fans as well as those with fond memories of riding the blue trains to work or