Airblue crash probe: ‘Govt could release report if it wanted’

Report has been with defence ministry since March.

Salman Siddiqui July 29, 2011


If the government wanted, it could release the investigation report into the Airblue crash – which has been complete for months – without waiting for comments from international aviation companies, officials of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told The Express Tribune.

The investigation report into the Airblue flight ED 202 crash has been pending with the ministry of defence since March 2011, a senior CAA official said on the condition of anonymity. According to the official, a CAA team carried out an investigation and submitted its report to the ministry of defence in March.

Interestingly, the CAA just announced the submission of its investigation report into the Airblue tragedy to the federal government on Thursday – the first anniversary of the Airblue crash.

A press release issued by CAA suggested that all aspects of the incident have been analysed, although nothing specific to the contents of the inquiry report, such as why the plane crashed or whether any responsibility has been determined, was mentioned.

However, the statement clearly states that the report will not yet be released: “The investigation report will be released on the receipt of comments from State of Manufacture and State of design namely BEA-France, Airbus France, NTSB-USA, IAE-USA and BFU Germany.”

Yet CAA officials tried to pass the buck on the government and insisted that if the government wanted, it could release the report without waiting for comments from international aviation companies.

Legal experts, however, point out that it was odd that the CAA was claiming the report was ‘complete’ when, in fact, comments and possible objections from the leading aviation companies have not been included. They said that without the view of international experts from these leading companies, the report can be termed ‘interim’ and not complete.

Aviation law expert Shah Murad says the CAA itself can make the report public on its own, according to Rule 281 of the Civil Aviation Rules 1994, after consulting with the government.

Also, according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of which the CAA is a signatory, the Annex 13 clause clearly states that the state conducting the investigation should release the final report in the shortest possible time and, if possible, within twelve months of the incident.

If the report cannot be released within twelve months, the state conducting the investigation should release an interim report on each anniversary of the occurrence.

However, Murad points out that the CAA statement fails to mention anything about the progress of the investigation into the Airblue plane crash.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th,  2011.

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Dan Sicchio | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend There are many means of conducting investigations, most of which comply to ICAO annex 13. Before commenting, we should determine what this governments' procedure is, and if in fact they are a signatory to annex 13, and further if they have filed differences with ICAO. In a complex investigation, it certainly would be normal to exceed 12 months. Regarding the CVR and DFDR, they alone do not give you the "cause" of the accident. In fact, in most cases only corraborate facts. In many cases, pressure from Departments of State are required to force compliance with ICAO standards, and of course even this can be unsuccesful. A lack of information sharing in investigations destroys the ability for justice, but far more importantly, hampers safety efforts.
Hassan | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@ali isb

You yourself suggest by writing ' may know why' that this might have been a mistake overlooked by @omair shakil (NOT umair shakil, perhaps you can brush up on your 'reading' skills), and not language incompetency. The above article is very poorly written, and to see it that it made its way through the editors into the News section is shocking enough.

'A detailed investigation by an expert team headed by the President Safety Investigation Board was carried out. All aspects including the internal and external sabotage, incapacitation of the aircraft systems, in flight fire, bird strike or structural fatigue, human factor, organizational factors, have been adequately analysed in the investigation, it said.'

Clearly the author has no understanding of how to summarise any report (in this case, a CAA release).

A. Internal and external sabotage perhaps refers to hijacking or missile attack, but to a common reader remains inconclusive. B. in flight fire should have been in-flight fire, which again can clearly fall under the category of 'internal and external sabotage' or 'incapacitation of the aircraft systems' C. Bird strike...really? I think they forgot to mention lightning, super-cooled water, interference with mobile phone signals and so on. D. Structural fatigue should ideally come under incapacitation of the aircraft systems, which itself should come under a broader term such as 'mechanical failure' or 'technical fault.' E. Organization factors, what does that even mean?

Tribune needs to step up its game to produce a newspaper with world-caliber articles, those that foreign papers can cite as references for stories concerning Pakistan.

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