The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) has strongly criticised the publication of a transcript from the cockpit voice recorder from Irish coastguard helicopter Rescue 116. IMPACT’s airline pilots’ branch, IALPA, is an affiliate of IFALPA.
All four Rescue 116 crew members were killed when the aircracft crashed into Blackrock Island on 14th March. They were all IMPACT members.
A preliminary report into the fatal crash by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) found that the island was not included in the aircraft's on board obstacle warning system. The report included the transcript of the last two minutes of the Rescue 116 cockpit voice recorder (CVR), which was later published widely in print, broadcast and online media.
IFALPA and the European Cockpit Association (ECA) strongly condemned the publication, describing it as “unwarranted, unacceptable, counterproductive to flight safety,” as well as being in breach of internationally agreed regulations. IALPA president Evan Cullen said there was no justification for, or benefit from, publishing “specifically the last two minutes of this flight, other than feeding a thirst for sensationalism.”
The IFALPA statement said: “In this early stage of the technical investigation, many critical questions remain to be answered. IFALPA and ECA call for adherence to the proper accident investigation process and expect a comprehensive and accurate analysis of events based on the highest professional standards.”
The search is continuing for the bodies of winchmen Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby, both of whom were members of IMPACT’s IAESA branch. Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy were members of IALPA.
The current edition of IMPACT’s Work & Lifemagazine pays tribute to the crew.