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May 28, 2017

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TransAsia plane information coming soon: council

TAIPEI -- Information on the state of the TransAsia Airways plane that crashed in Penghu on July 23 should be made public in a few days, Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council said Sunday.

Wang Hsing-chung, the council's managing director, made the pledge as the council continued to decipher the plane's two black boxes — the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder — retrieved from the crash site.

He said getting information from the black boxes took time because they recorded 180 parameters that have to be synchronized with data from the air traffic control tower, radar, and global positioning systems during the crucial minutes before the accident.

"The public is most concerned about the state of the plane before its crash," Wang said. "After the reading of the black boxes is completed, the established facts will be made public."

It usually takes between five and seven days to read the black boxes, which were retrieved Thursday, and the council is expected to present its findings on July 30 at the earliest, but Wang would not confirm a date.

The investigation of the cause of the crash will take more time, however.

The council will meet on Monday with foreign aviation experts currently in Taiwan to examine wreckage from the plane and discuss with them the progress made in the investigation and sign a confidentiality agreement.

The experts include officials from the Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses pour la Securite de l'Aviation Civile, the French authority responsible for investigating civil aviation accidents, and people from Avions de Transport Regional, the manufacturer of the ATR-72 that crashed, and engine provider Pratt & Whitney Canada.

The council is expected to submit an initial report on the plane crash to the International Civil Aviation Organization in late August.

The wreckage of the crashed plane has been moved to the Air Force's base in Magong and foreign experts, who arrived in the outlying Penghu County on Saturday, were examining it.

TransAsia Flight GE 222, which took off from Kaohsiung on Wednesday evening, crashed in Penghu after aborting a landing in inclement weather and trying to fly a go-around, leaving 48 of the 58 people on board dead.

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