TransAsia pilot ‘Hero’, Hails Mayor

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Taiwan: TransAsia pilot Liao Chien-tsung was hailed as a ‘hero’ after flying his failing plane into a Taiwan river without destroying any property. Liao signalled distress right before the disaster, in an effort to avoid smashing into buildings.

On Feb 4, Wednesday, Flight GE235 clipped a highway overpass before it sailed into the Keelung River in New Taipei City. Out of the 58 people on board, at least 32 died with 15 rescued and 12 still missing.

Right before the impact, Liao said, “Mayday, mayday, engine flameout!” as revealed by cockpit recordings.Taiwan’s aviation regulator confirmed that the pilot and his unidentified co-pilot are among those who did not survive the disaster.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je was in tears after he said Liao “really tried everything he could” and hailed him a hero for averting a potentially worse disaster, according to reports.

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