EK521 – a three year investigation?

Honestly this is not good enough. The investigation into the Emirates jet crash landing at Dubai International on Aug. 3 will take two to three years to complete, the director general of the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said today.

It is not a complex investigation.

The passengers and crew all survived.

The black boxes were quickly recovered.

The plane crashed on landing at its home airport; it did not drop out of the sky; it did not disappear into the Indian Ocean.

All 300 passengers and crew safely evacuated the jet but a firefighter died tackling flames after the Boeing 777-300, arriving from India, caught fire after skidding along the Dubai airport runway on its fuselage.

In a preliminary report released on Sept. 6, the federal aviation authority said the pilot of flight EK521 tried to abort the landing after the plane’s main wheels had already touched down.

Director General Saif Mohammed al-Suwaidi told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai that the investigation would be completed by 2019 and the GCAA was likely to introduce “some precaution measures” before then. He did not say what those measures would be.

A two- to three-year timeframe “to complete an investigation report of this nature is not unusual”, an Emirates spokeswoman told Reuters.

Nonsense – the NTSB investigation into the Asiana 214 crash at SFO saw the final report released within one year of the crash – and that was a similar crash on landing made more complex by the serious injuries  to passengers and the involvement of a foreign airline.

BA38 (January 2008) was another more complex investigation; The UK Department for Transport’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) investigated the accident, with the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Boeing and Rolls-Royce also participating.

This investigation did take two years to complete The AAIB published its final report on 9 February 2010.

However, a number of preliminary reports and eighteen safety recommendations were issued during the course of the investigation.

Al-Suwaidi also said he expected the Russian-led investigation into the March 19 flydubai crash in southern Russia to take “another two years.”

Also a more complex and fatal incident. All 62 passengers and crew on board were killed in the crash.

The accident investigators have a responsibility to the traveling public to thoroughly investigate the accident and to provide a detailed commentary on why the airplane crashed and the causal factors.

The Dubai based airlines suffered two hull loss crashes in just five months. Both in attempted airport go-around maneuvers; one at higher altitude, one on landing.

A three year silence is really not good enough and does not reassure the flying public that any necessary corrective action is being taken.


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