Spanish documents delay plane crash report

Investigators examining the cause of a fatal crash in Cork Airport two years ago have blamed the delay in publishing their report largely on the challenge of translating highly technical documents from Spanish to English.

The aircraft involved in the accident, which left six people dead and six injured, was supplied and crewed by Spanish company Air Lada, and operated by a second Spanish company, Flightline BCN.

Ahead of the second anniversary of the crash this weekend, investigators said that because Spanish was an official language of international aviation, a significant amount of the operational, engineering, and oversight documentation existed only in that language.

“It has taken the investigation considerable time to accurately translate such documents, which in most cases are highly technical in nature,” said officials from the air accident investigation unit .

The cross-jurisdictional nature of the investigation was another factor in the delay. In addition to the Spanish companies involved with the Manx2.com flight, the ticket seller was based in the Isle of Man. As a result, investigators have been liaising with the Spanish air safety agency, the European Aviation Safety Agency, and the European Commission.

“This process has been iterative and involved interviewing additional personnel as the investigation progressed, in addition to sourcing and cross referencing documentation in several jurisdictions,” said investigators.

However, they expect a draft final report to be published shortly, after which parties have 60 days to comment. The final report will be published after any comments are considered.

The Manx2.com flight from Belfast crashed on its third attempt to land in dense fog at Cork Airport on Feb 10, 2011.

The six people killed in the tragedy were Spanish pilot Jordi Gola Lopez, 31; co-pilot Andrew Cantle, 27 from Sunderland; Brendan McAleese, 39, from Co Tyrone; Pat Cullinan, 45, a partner in leading accountancy firm KPMG in Belfast; Captain Michael Evans, 51, deputy harbour master in Belfast; and Richard Noble, a 49-year-old businessman who was originally from Derbyshire but lived in the North.

Mr Cantle’s family are taking legal action against FlightlineBCN, and Air Lada.

The investigation unit last year revealed problems with engine number two of the twin turboprop Fairchild Metroliner which could have caused an uneven thrust from the wings.

It also stated that the captain took the plane’s power controls seconds before it crashed.

Investigators published an interim statement in relation to the accident yesterday as per aviation regulations.

If the final report cannot be made public within 12 months, then an interim statement must be released “at least at each anniversary of the accident” detailing progress made and any safety issues raised.

Picture4: The wreckage of the Manx2 plane being removed from the runway at Cork Airport.

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