Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Swearingen SA227-BC Metro III, Manx2, Flightline: Accident occurred February 10, 2011 in Cork, Ireland

Air Accident Investigation Unit Ireland  
Fairchild Aircraft Corporation
SA 227-BC Metro III, EC-ITP
Cork Airport, Ireland
February 10,  2011


An investigation into a plane crash in Cork in which six people died has found that Spain's aviation regulator contributed to the crash through inadequate oversight of the Spanish company which operated the fatal flight.

The final report, published today, of the investigation into Ireland's worst aviation crash in almost 50 years also found deficiencies on the part of the operating company, Flightline.

The Manx2 flight from Belfast to Cork crashed in dense fog at Cork Airport in February, 2011.

The flight's captain, co-pilot and four passengers died; six other passengers survived.

A preliminary report and two interim statements from the Department of Transport's Air Accident Investigation Unit told how bad decisions by the crew led directly to the crash.

Today's report says the crew didn't give adequate consideration to the weather conditions in Cork; breached minimum weather standards during each of three attempts to land the plane; and the captain performed a manoeuvre reversing engine thrust which is prohibited in flight.

The report found that both the captain and the co-pilot had insufficient rest prior to commencing duty on the day of the accident, and were likely to have been suffering from tiredness and fatigue at the time of the accident.

The captain of the flight, 31-year old Jordi Sola Lopez from Barcelona, had only been promoted four days prior to the crash.

His co-pilot, Andrew Cantle from Sunderland in England, only joined the airline three weeks before the crash.

The report finds their pairing together on the flight was "inappropriate".

Today's final report also examines the complex relationship between the Spanish company which owned the Metroliner plane, Air Lada, the operator, Flightline, and the ticket seller, Manx2.com.

It describes as inadequate Flightline's supervision of the service as well as the oversight of Flightline by Spanish aviation regulator AESA. It says both of these were a contributory cause of the crash.

The report says the flight captain was inadequately trained in the command role, and was ill-prepared for the situation he found himself in on the day of the accident.

The co-pilot's training wasn't completed; some of Fleetline's operational responsibilities were being inappropriately exercised by Air Lada and Manx2.com.

In relation to AESA, the report says there was no oversight of Flightline's service in Ireland and that AESA said it was "unaware" that Flightline was operating here, inspite of having regulatory responsibility for the company.

The report recommends that AESA reviews its policy regarding oversight of the carriers for which it has regulatory responsibility, particulatly those conducting "remote" operations in other countries.

The report addresses four of its 11 safety regulations to the European Commission directorate responsible for commercial air transport. This is believed to be the first time an air accident investigating team has done this.

The report was sent to the six survivors and to the families of those who died over a week ago.

Its findings will be closely examined, not least by the legal teams pursuing law suits on their behalf.

NTSB Identification: DCA11RA025 
Accident occurred Thursday, February 10, 2011 in Cork, Ireland
Aircraft: SWEARINGEN SA227, registration:
Injuries: 6 Fatal,6 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On February 10, 2010, at 0950 local time, a Swearingen SA-227 Metroliner, Spanish registration EC-ITP, operated by Flightline/Manx2 Air as flight 7100, crashed after attempting a landing on runway 17 at the Cork Airport, Cork, Ireland. The flight was a scheduled passenger flight from Belfast, Northern Ireland. The two pilots and four of the ten passengers were fatally injured, six of the ten passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was destroyed.

The accident is being investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of Ireland. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative as the state of design and manufacture of the airplane and engines.

All inquiries concerning this accident should be directed to the AAIU of Ireland at:

Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU)
Department of Transport
44 Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Website: http://www.aaiu.ie

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