Pilot Error Caused Gulf Air Crash
Pilot error was behind the Gulf Air flight crash off Bahrain's coast two years ago that killed 143 people, according to the official investigation report released Monday.
The Department of Civil Aviation Affairs report said the accident was a result of a fatal combination of factors, including the captain's failure to comply with the "standard operating procedure" and the copilot's failure to draw the "captain's attention to the deviations of the aircraft from the standard flight parameters."
The report into the crash of the Airbus A320 on August 23, 2000 said the captain might have become disoriented, which could have made him falsely perceive the aircraft was "pitching up." He responded by making a "nose down" command, resulting in the aircraft starting to descend when aircraft warning systems were saying he should increase altitude, the report said, according to AP.
Gulf Air president James Hogan acknowledged that the airline had received the final report. "The airline, its staff, agents and other representatives remain deeply affected by the accident, and its thoughts and sympathies remain with the deceased, and their families and friends, at this sad time," Hogan said in a statement.
Passenger security and airline safety remained Gulf Air's priorities, he added. "That was the situation at the time of the accident and is the situation now."
The investigation was conducted by the Accident Investigation Board, which included Bahraini authorities, French experts and an Airbus Industries representative.
The report said the ill-fated plane's captain, Ihsan Shakeeb, had requested a "go around" from air traffic controllers on his first approach at Bahrain International Airport.
After circling the airport once, he aborted his landing attempt without explanation. One minute later, the Airbus 320 nose-dived into the sea. The report said other factors that may have caused the pilot error included problems in the airline's flight crew training programs and a problem in the plane's flight data analysis system.
Hogan said several measures had been taken to rectify the problems. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)