Publication of Rescue 116 cockpit recording unacceptable, say pilots

International and Irish pilots have come together to condemn as “unwarranted, unacceptable and counterproductive to flight safety” the publication of the last two minutes of the cockpit voice recordings of ill-fated Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 116.

 

 

Last Friday, the Air Accident Investigation Unit made public a transcript of the Cockpit Voice Recorder of the CHC Sikorsky S-92, which crashed at Black Rock Island killing its four crew.

The bodies of two of the crew Capt Dara Fitzpatrick and Capt Mark Duffy have been found but winchman, Paul Ormsby and winch operator, Ciarán Smith are still missing at sea.

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations and the European Cockpit Association said the publication of these details was a breach of international standards and regulation.

“Not only does the publication contravene agreed principles of accident investigation confidentiality set out in ICAO Annex 13 and EU Accident Investigation Regulation 996/2010 but it unnecessarily adds to the burden of the victims’ families, and is also a breach of trust to all those involved in commercial aviation,” said Ifalpa and ECA.

Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association president, Evan Cullen said: “There is absolutely no justification for — or benefit from — publishing specifically the last two minutes of this flight, other than feeding a thirst for sensationalism.”

Rescue 116 disappeared at Black Sod Bay off the north coast of Mayo after providing communications cover for a medical rescue in March.

The preliminary air accident investigation report found it hit Black Rock island, where some of the helicopter debris was found.

It also found that the island wasn’t registered on the crew’s internal mapping system


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