The bodies of Liao and his co-pilot were retrieved from the almost-new turboprop ATR 72-600's cockpit still clutching the joystick, with their legs badly broken, investigators said.
"They were still trying to save this aircraft until the last minute," Taiwanese media quoted unidentified prosecutors involved in the crash investigation as saying.
Media quoted city officials as saying the death toll would have been much worse if the plane had crashed into any of the buildings it narrowly missed.
Fifteen people survived but 12 remain missing. Taiwan aviation officials have said they have not given up hope of finding them.
The voice and data recorders from the plane have been recovered and a more conclusive picture of the plane's final moments will emerge when information from them is released.Media reported that some of the information could be released later on today, Friday Feb 06, 2015.