The Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit’s (AAIU) report, which runs to over 200-pages, is expected to make several significant recommendations which could have an impact across Europe’s aviation industry.
Within a year of the crash, the AAIU’s interim statement revealed a sensor fault which affected fuel flow to, and power output from, the doomed Fairchild Metroliner aircraft’s right engine.
But investigators have spent the last two years focusing on wider systemic issues relating to the commuter flight which involved three separate undertakings — Spanish company, Flightline BCN, which held an air operators certificate to operated the flight, Manx2.com, an Isle of Man-based virtual airline which sold the airline tickets, and a second Spanish company, AirLada, which supplied the aircraft and flight crew.
The investigation was one of the most detailed, complex and comprehensive ever undertaken by the AAIU.
The recommendations are expected to relate to control procedures governing the operation of the flight, the regulatory oversight of the operation, the effectiveness of that oversight, and the legal framework within which it operated.
The Irish Examiner has learned the AAIU has furnished its report to all the relevant parties — including the survivors, the families of those who died, and their legal representatives. The lawyers declined to comment in advance of the final report. The AAIU is now finalising arrangements to publish the findings before the end of this week.
The aircraft, on route from Belfast to Cork, crashed on its third attempt to land in dense fog at Cork Airport on Feb 10 2011.
Six people — four passengers and the two pilots — were killed when the twin turbo prop struck the runway, flipped on to its roof and slid on to grass, before its engines caught fire.
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 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 Northern Ireland, all died in the crash.
Another six passengers survived the horrific impact — Donal Walsh, who was 22 at the time, from Waterford; Peter Cowley, from Glanmire in Co Cork; Laurence Wilson, in his 50s, from Glenoe, Co Antrim; Heather Elliot, who is originally from Kinsale, Co Cork, but who was living in Belfast; Brendan Mallon from Bangor, Co Down; and Mark Dickens, who was 40 at the time, and from Kent.
A number of lawsuits have been launched by relatives of passengers who died in the crash, the injured, and relatives of the flight crew.
Following a management buy-out in 2012, Manx2 ceased trading, with a new company, trading as Citywing, taking on all the forward bookings made with Manx2.