I would like to add some further information to this accident, I am based in Taiwan.
1. There are three flight crews at the cockpit - the third was an observer according to local press - may be on training.
2. Once again, local press states that the aircraft, on its delivery flight to Taiwan from France(?), had a new engine installed at Macao where it apparently made a stop - now, this is according to local press and the truth of that, may be questionable. Aircraft in question was actually less than 1 year old.
3. TransAsia has a terrible record on their ATR72 fleet. Let me give a quick summary, they lost one over at MaKong island due to icing build up on wing - this one was opearting as a freighter. TransAsia lost another one while flying empty (ferr flight) from KinMen (the same destination as this flight was heading) to Taipei over Taoyuan due to navigation mistake. All four crews were killed. They lost one last year while attempting to land in bad weather at MaKong island. And now, this one.
4. It is understandable to question the quality of their air-crew flight training as evidence of their accidents point to this. Ironically, I think, they appoint someone who just retired from EVA as their VP
or something on flight safety - very ironic indeed. I also recall, from previous readings, of numerous mistake in their maintenance, and poor handling. Overall, I do believe this is not a very safe airline and now they are acquiring newer A330 to their fleet. Last year, when the Taiwan government receive additional landing slots to China, most of them went to China Airlines and EVA AIR. TransAsia made a big deal, citing inequality treatment. Well, prove to me otherwise.
5. Before the highspeed railway opens in Taiwan, we have many smaller airlines aside from CI
. A round of consolidation left with only 4 I think. The other time bomb in my opinion is Far Eastern. They went bankrupt for some time and now resume flying with very old, hopefully well maintained - Mad Dogs (MD series).
It is ironic that country like China, have a decidedly better safety record than a much smaller country like Taiwan. Although we complaint so much on delays in China, in the name of flight safety, they are really doing well, at least on the record.