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 Air Asia Report: Distraction, Crew Miscommunication Led To Stall

The string of incidents that led to the crash of Air Asia Flight QZ8501 on Dec. 28 last year began with a mechanical malfunction that had gone unresolved despite having failed 23 times, investigators said in their final report, issued today by Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee. But in trying to cope with the malfunction, the captain issued "ambiguous commands" to the first officer, and failed to take over the controls, the report concludes. The Airbus A320 climbed to 38,500 feet, rolled 104 degrees to the left, then stalled and lost altitude at a rate of up to 20,000 feet per minute. The airplane crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 162 on board.

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 Solar Impulse Funded To Fly Again

Solar Impulse has raised the $29 million needed to complete the nonprofit group's round-the-world trip in a solar-powered aircraft, co-founder Andre Borschberg said at the Paris climate summit this week. The group plans to launch in April to fly from Hawaii to North America, and then continue on to Abu Dhabi, where they launched last year. "The financial side is under control," Borschberg said. "We are all very focused and looking forward to continuing next year. We know we can do it, but it remains a challenge."

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 HondaJet Certification Event Dec. 9

After more than 18 years in development, Honda Aircraft is expected to announce that its small twin-engine jet is certified Dec. 9.

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 JetBlue Plans Ab-Initio Program

JetBlue plans to develop an "ab-initio" training program for its Embraer SA E190 crews, the company told Bloomberg News last week. The airline must get FAA approval for its plans, but if it does, it would become the only U.S. airline to recruit zero-time pilots. The program will start with about two dozen participants, said JetBlue spokesman Doug McGraw. The training will be designed to build "the complex skills required of airline pilots from the first day ... to ensure the quality of our current cadre of pilots is maintained," he said. Under FAA rules, pilots must log 1,500 hours of flight time before serving as first officer for an airline.

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