The AirAsia flight that crashed in the Java Sea, killing 162 people, climbed too fast before stalling, Ignasius Jonan, Indonesia’s transport minister has said.
According to a BBC report, the minister told a parliamentary hearing in Jakarta that flight QZ8501 had ascended at a speed of 6,000ft (1,828m) per minute.
Citing radar data, Mr Jonan said: “The plane, during the last minutes, went up faster than normal speed… then it stalled.”
“I think it is rare even for a fighter jet to be able to climb 6,000ft per minute,” he told a House of Representatives commission.
“The average speed of a commercial aircraft is probably between 1,000 and 2,000ft per minute because the aircraft is not designed to soar so fast.”
A source familiar with the investigation’s initial findings told Reuters news agency last month that radar data appeared to show flight QZ8501 had made an “unbelievably” steep climb before it crashed, possibly pushing the jet beyond its limits.
When planes stall, their engines do not cut out but the wings no longer generate lift because there is not enough air passing over them, BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott says.
This normally happens when the nose is pointing upwards for too long during a climb.
Mr Jonan’s comments come after the plane’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were found last week.
The fuselage of the plane, believed to hold most of the remaining bodies, has also been located and search teams are now working out how to retrieve it.
Investigators have already said it is unlikely the crash was caused by terrorism.