Workers unload the fuselage of AirAsia QZ8501, which crashed into the Java Sea on Dec. 28, from the ship Onyx Crest in Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta March 2, 2015. Reuters/Antara Foto/Zabur Karuru/Files
Chronic problems with a faulty rudder system and the way pilots tried to respond were among a string of factors contributing to the crash of an Indonesian AirAsia jet last year that killed all 162 on board, investigators said on Tuesday.
The Airbus A320 crashed into the Java Sea on Dec. 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia’s second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore.
In their first public report on the disaster, Indonesian investigators did not pinpoint a single underlying reason why flight QZ8501 disappeared from the radar, but set out a sequence spotlighting the faulty component, maintenance and crew actions.
It said stormy weather did not play a role in the accident.
The crash was part of a string of aviation disasters in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, where rapid growth in air travel has overcrowded airports and stirred safety concerns.
Investigators said a system controlling rudder movement had cracked soldering that malfunctioned repeatedly, including four times during the flight and 23 times the previous year.
Officials told reporters there were indications from the black box data recorder that crew had tried to shut off power to the computer that controls the rudder system by resetting a circuit breaker, something not usually done during flight.
But they cautioned there was no…