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Crashed Sriwijaya Air jet had engine thrust imbalance

Christian Fernsby |
The Sriwijaya Air plane that crashed last month killing 62 people had an imbalance in engine thrust that led the plane into a sharp roll and then a dive into the sea, a preliminary report by investigators said on Wednesday.

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When the 26-year-old Boeing Co 737-500 plane reached 8,150 feet (2,484 m) after take-off, the left engine throttle lever moved back while the right lever stayed in its original position, Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said in its report.

“We don’t know if it’s broken or not, but it’s an anomaly because the left moved far back, the right did not as though it was stuck,” KNKT investigator Nurcayho Utomo told reporters of the levers.

At about 10,900 feet, the autopilot disengaged and the plane rolled to the left more than 45 degrees and started its dive, according to the report.

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