Commercial, Personal/Corporate, Public Service, Regulatory

Pilots Appeal Order Giving Police CVFDR

By Staff Writer | July 8, 2015

A Scottish judge’s order releasing an accident recorder to criminal investigators threatens “the open safety culture it has taken decades to create” in aviation, the British Airline Pilots' Association said, declaring it will appeal the June 19 ruling. BALPA said the threat lies in the prospect that safety data might be “used to assign blame without air accident investigation specialists being given the time, space and resources to carry out their work fully.” The combined cockpit voice and flight data recorder (CVFDR) that the judge ordered to be released is from an Aug. 23, 2013 CHC Eurocopter AS332 crash on approach to the Shetland Islands’ Sumburgh Airport. The crash killed four of 16 passengers on the helicopter; the pilot and copilot survived. The U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to date has not pointed to any contributing technical cause (though its investigation continues). So prosecutors are looking into the cause of the four deaths. In a prepared statement, BALPA General Secretary Jim McAuslan said that, while current law called on the judge to balance aviation safety against public interest in the death investigations in making the ruling, “we are not convinced he got the balance right in this case.”



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