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Seven people face criminal charges after fatal 2007 French Polynesia plane crash
19 April 2009

Seven people face criminal charges after fatal 2007 French Polynesia plane crash

A French prosecutor has opened a criminal case against seven people over the 2007 fatal crash of an Air Moorea DHC-6 Twin Otter in French Polynesia.

Six employees of Air Moorea and the former head of French Polynesia’s civil aviation administration are to be probed for alleged involuntary homicide.

A BEA accident investigation found that the pilot lost control of the plane after the rupture of the elevator pitch-up control cable.. (Radio New Zealand International)

Garuda crash pilot jailed

The pilot of the Garuda Boeing 737-400 that crashed in Yogyakarta in March 2007 was found guilty of criminal negligence.
Prosecutors had sought a four-year jail term, but he was sentenced to two years in prison.
One of the panel of five judges remarked that the sentence was about the prevention of future accidents rather than revenge.
One of the judges dissented and said that he did not think the pilot should have been found guilty. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Italian Ministry of Justice will improve cooperation with ANSV

The Italian flight safety board, ANSV, received a positive response from the Ministry of Justice regarding safety recommendation ANSV-10/888-06/1/A/08, issued following the accident involving a Piper PA-31 (I-POMO) on November 6th, 2006.

In particular, the Ministry of Justice invited the Directors of Public Prosecutions within the Appeal Courts to stipulate that, in the case of an accident involving an aircraft and immediately following the event, in compatibility with search and rescue activities, there shall be no tampering with or alteration of evidence before the arrival of the assigned ANSV investigators, in order not to compromise acquisition of evidences necessary to determine the cause. The ministry has also stated that, following any examinations, in compatibility with public safety requirements, the subsequent recovery of wreckage is also to be coordinated with ANSV personnel.

Nevertheless, the FDR/CVR data of the fatal Cessna Citation accident currently under investigation are still exclusively in the hands of the responsible judicial authority. (ANSV)

Indonesian air traffic controllers leave in fear of prosecution

Nearly 30 experienced Indonesian air traffic controllers have left their jobs to look for work abroad amid fears they could be targeted for criminal prosecution for accidents or mishaps, the Indonesian Air Traffic Controllers Association (IATCA) says.
The association’s chairman, Adrie Gunawan said the exodus was triggered by the prosecution of Garuda Indonesia pilot, who was commanding a Boeing 737 that crashed upon landing at Yogyakarta’s Adisucipto International Airport in March 2007, killing 21 people aboard. (The Jakarta Globe )

Indonesia: Prosecutors seek four-year jail term for Garuda pilot

Indonesian Distict Court Prosecutors in Sleman have called for a Garuda pilot to be sentenced four years in jail for his negligence in the accident of a Boeing 737-400 at Yogyakarta in 2007. Twenty-one passengers were killed in the accident.
During the court session prosecutor Modim Aristo said that the defendant had violated article 479 G, points A and B, of the Criminal Code.
(The Jakarta Post)

Executives of charter jet company indicted, charged in connection with 2005 Teterboro crash

Five company officials and a pilot associated with Platinum Jet Management, LLC were named in a 23-count Indictment charging a series of crimes, including endangering the safety of aircraft.
The Indictment alleges a conspiracy to commit continuous willful violations of regulatory requirements for the operation of commercial charter aircraft. The Indictment also accuses the defendants of routinely undertaking and concealing dangerous fueling and weight distribution practices which existed on the Platinum-operated jet that failed to lift off at Teterboro on Feb. 2, 2005. The jet left the end of the runway, crossed Route 46, hitting cars along the way, and slammed through the side of a clothing warehouse.
The Teterboro flight that crashed on Feb. 2, 2005, was over-fueled in a manner that caused the plane’s center of gravity to exceed its forward weight limit for takeoff, contributing to the crash, according to the Indictment. The fueling practice was commonly used, according to the Indictment, to increase profits for Platinum Jet.
According to the Indictment, from November 2002 until November 2003, the conspirators operated Platinum Jet as an on-demand commercial jet charter company without having a Part 135 certificate, which is required by federal aviation regulations for charter operations. During this period, the conspirators lied in contractual documents faxed from state to state to charter brokers about Platinum Jet’s illegal regulatory and safety status. The Indictment claims that the defendants operated more than 85 commercial flights during this period in violation of federal safety regulations for more than $1 million in compensation.
The Indictment further alleges that, in November 2003, the conspirators started sharing a Part 135 certificate, or "piggybacking," with a Part 135 certificate holder based in Alabama, and that after they did so, they continued to violate FAA rules by dispatching unqualified pilots and pilots without the FAA-required amount of rest to fly chartered flights. To conceal this illegality, the Indictment alleges, Platinum Jet pilots signed FAA mandated flight logs for more than 30 charter-brokered flights falsely indicating that those charters were private, non-profit flights, which are subject to less onerous regulation than commercial flights. This alleged conduct lasted from November 2003 until shortly after the crash at Teterboro Airport in February 2005. (The United States Attorney’s Office District of New Jersey)

Air France, insurers suing Toronto Airport, NavCanada over 2005 crash

Air France and its insurers are suing the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, and NavCanada for some $180 million, charging they all cut corners that contributed to the crash of its Airbus A340 in 2005.
The airline says the design of Toronto International Airport’s runway 24L failed to ensure there was an “adequate margin of safety for aircraft in the event of an overrun event.” The runway ends at a steep ravine.
The claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that a.o. states “GTAA failed to provide a safe environment for the conduct of civil air operations.”

(The Star)

Garuda Indonesia pilot arrested over crash

The pilot of a Garuda Indonesia aircraft that crashed at Yogyakarta airport killing 21 people in March 2007 has been arrested by police on charges that include manslaughter.
The captain, who was arrested after eight hours of interrogation, was also charged with other offences including violating aviation law and could face more than five years in jail. (Reuters)

Brazil court rejects request to indict air traffic controllers in plane crash

A Brazilian military court declined to indict five Brazilian air traffic controllers regarding their involvement in a mid-air collision last year between a GOL Boeing 737 and an executive jet over the Amazon rainforest that killed 154 people.
Military prosecutors’ request for an indictment did not specify what regulations the controllers allegedly violated, making it impossible to mount a proper defense, Judge Zilah Maria Callado Fadul Petersen said in explaining the ruling.
Military prosecutors want to try four of the controllers on charges of breaking regulations, and the other one faces charges of involuntary manslaughter. (AP)

Appeal court upholds acquittal of JAL pilot over fatal autopilot mishap

An appeal court upheld a lower court`s acquittal of a former Japan Air Lines pilot over an autopilot mishap that left a cabin attendant dead. In July 2004, the district court found the pilot not guilty after concluding that he was not aware that his release of the autopilot would cause the aircraft to pitch up and down violently, resulting in the death a cabin attendant and injuries to 13 passengers and crewmembers.
In the appeal trial, prosecutors claimed that the defendant could have predicted that his release of the autopilot could cause the aircraft to pitch up and lead to an accident. The accident occurred on June 8, 1997 on a JAL MD-11 jet with 180 passengers and crewmembers. (Mainichi Daily News)