Ethiopian officials angry over Lebanon's failure to release

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Ethiopian officials angry over Lebanon's failure to release

Unread postby ኦሽንoc » 09 May 2010 10:23

Ethiopian officials are expressing anger and concern that Lebanese government has failed to release the preliminary investigation report into the crash of an Ethiopian airlines plane that plunged into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after takeoff from Beirut on the early morning of January 25 despite having received the report from the French air crash investigators, the BEA more than two months ago.

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) accident investigation procedure annex stipulates that the aircraft accident preliminary report should be released 30 days after the accident. According to ICAO’s annex it is the discretion of the country where the accident occurred to release the investigation report. The Lebanese Ministry of Urban Works and Transport was supposed to release the preliminary accident investigation report on February 24.
The Ethiopian officials are said to be “raging” that Lebanese newspapers are citing undisclosed official sources as blaming pilot error for the crash in which all passengers and crew died.
Back in February Ethiopian Minster of Transport, Deriba Kuma, and Ethiopian CEO, Girma Wake, accused the Lebanese authorities of hiding relevant information and leaking misleading and speculative information about the accident.

This week AFP and four Lebanese newspapers printed similar news items on the cause of the plane crash. The news reports run on the same date, quoting unanimous source who claimed that pilot error was behind the plane crash. The reports assert that the captain of ET 409 was inexperienced and was burdened with workload. The reports said the captain had only one month experience with the B737-800 aircraft.
According to Ethiopian national media sources in Ethiopian Airlines refute the allegation saying that Capt. Habtamu Benti, who had served Ethiopian for more than 20 years, had accumulated more than 11,000 flight hours adding that the late captain flew the B737-800 jetliner for more than a year.
The news reports claim that the captain flew for 200 hours in one month before the accident and fatigue may have contributed to the errors. The international civil aviation law states that a pilot should not fly for more than 110 hours in one month time. The media reports that Ethiopian has submitted the medical history, professional qualifications, flight hours of the pilots as well as the maintenance record of the aircraft and all other relevant data to the investigation team. “All these data are stipulated in the preliminary report. The Captain flew less than 100 hours in one month time right before the accident, way below the maximum flight hours set by the civil aviation law. This has been submitted to the investigation team and the actual flight hours the pilots flew has been stated in the preliminary report,” the newspaper The Reporter said yesterday.

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