A Romanian Airbus spun to the ground last month, killing all 60 people aboard, when its right engine failed to respond to a command to cut power, an inquiry commission said on Monday.
The statement was issued after Belgian Foreign Minister Eric Derycke blamed technical failure and not a terrorist attack for the crash that occurred minutes after takeoff for Brussels.The commission formally ruled out the possibility of a bomb causing the crash - a theory that gained impetus when a witness reported an explosion aboard the plane as it plunged to the ground.
"It looks as though the command lever of the right engine was prevented mechanically, by an unidentified cause, from responding to the command given by the levers which govern the setting of the engine," the commission said. This "resulted in an asymmetry of throttle power."
With power to its left engine reduced as programmed in the move from takeoff to climb settings but full takeoff still coming from the right engine, the Airbus slewed to the left and dived at 80 degrees into the ground, the commission said.