Jakarta, Jan 29: The last minutes of the ill-fated AirASia plane are clear now. According to Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), a French first officer was at the controls at the time of the accident.
Mardjono Siswosuwarno, head investigator for the NTSC said that the data recorder retrieved from the bottom of the Java Sea provided a pretty clear picture. However, he did not give details.
The Airbus A320 vanished from the radars in inclement weather on Dec 28 when it had covered less than half way of the distance to be travelled between Surbaya to Singapore.
It has been revealed that the co-pilot, who sits on the right of the cockpit, was flying the plane, while the captain was monitoring from the left.
Evidences gathered from the recorder showed that the plane was cruising at a stable altitude before the crash. The aircraft was in sound condition when it took off and all crew members were properly certified.
He said,"The plane was flying before the incident within the limits of weight and balance envelope. While flight crew had valid licences and medical certificates."
The detailed report, however, has not been made public. It is purely factual and contains no analysis. The full and final report is likely to come in the next 6-7 months.
On the contrary, Indonesia had previously reported that the accident happened due to an abrupt climb in the cruising altitude and then stalled, before dipping into the sea.
While over 70 bodies have been retrieved, authorities believe that more bodies are stuck under the fuselage.