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Full investigation of Asiana Flight 214 accident needed before drawing conclusions

July 13, 2013 Association No Comments Email Email

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations has released the following statement regarding the Asiana Flight 214 accident in San Francisco on 6 July, 2013:

IFALPA would like to express our most sincere condolences to all those impacted by this accident including passengers, crew, first responders, and their families.

IFALPA would like to acknowledge that we disagree with the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) decision to release the operational data from on-board recorders so early in the investigation of this accident. IFALPA feels strongly that such details should only be publicly released following a thorough and complete investigation of the events that occurred, and not prematurely during the course of the field portion of the accident investigation, underway for less than one week. Publicly declaring premature, unanalyzed, and partial data can severely interfere with the investigative process, and also implies that the NTSB has already concluded probable cause of the accident before the onset of an investigation.

IFALPA feels that the publication of data points obtained from the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder can compromise flight safety as the data lacks the context of the entire body of factual investigative data. The release of partial data can lead to media and public speculation and sensationalization of the causes of the accident before all the facts are collected, and before investigators have the ability to determine why the events occurred and, in this case, before the aircraft pilots and crew had the opportunity to report vital information as to what exactly occurred during the event leading up to the accident.

Many critical questions remain to be answered before drawing a conclusion in the Asiana Flight 214 accident. IFALPA strongly supports an objective accident investigation process through the collection of all the facts needed to draw an accurate analysis of events that may have led to the accident in the appropriate operational context. IFALPA’s resources are at the disposal of the NTSB or any state investigative agency, and we freely offer our assistance in gathering those facts and any other information which may be pertinent to this case.

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