Parliament briefed on what caused Starbow plane crash

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Aviation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah yesterday gave an assurance that the ministry is collaborating with other stakeholders in the industry to make air transport safe and also curtail the re-occurrence of accidents in future.

She made ths known on the floor of Parliament, in an answer to a question, which stood in the name of Mr Kwame Agbodza, the Minority Spokesperson on Roads and Transport and MP for Adaklu, who wanted to know the cause of the Starbow crash last year. 
Madam Dapaah said the failure by the cockpit crew of a Starbow plane to execute the correct procedures in aborting the take-off caused the plane’s crash at the Kotoka International Airport on November 25, last year.
The Minister said a number of measures is being pursued, including the review of the operational control of Starbow, to ensure that it hires adequate qualified operational personnel.
Madam Dapaah said Starbow is to arrange a retraining of its crew, to include Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) and aborted take-off procedures, and directed Starbow to ensure that the Airworthiness Directive (AD) No 2016-0256 is effected on all subsequent ATRs before they are added to their fleet.
Also, pilots should exercise extra caution when taking off in adverse weather conditions.
She announced that the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is to establish a standing preliminary investigation team with approved procedures, which will include the authority to request medical and toxicology tests.
Other measures are that the Ghana Airports Company Limited would review it Standard Operations Procedure (SOPS) and responses of all respondents, as well as the management of Air Traffic Control of the GCAA to ensure that all staff are familiar with the requirements of accident and incident procedures contained in SOPs.
The Minister recalled the establishment of a five-member committee last December to investigate the accident, in order to ascertain the “probable cause(s)” of the accident and make recommendations to prevent future occurrence.
The committee came out with the finding that Starbow Flight IKM104 started taxing at 1214 hours for departure to Kumasi, and there were 60 passengers, three infants and five crew members.
The weather at the time was clear but deteriorated rapidly and resulted in a heavy downpour before the pilots were ready to takeoff. During the takeoff run, the aircraft drifted off the runway without the crew appreciating it as a result of the severity of the weather.
In the process, the captain’s seat moved rearward, which made the captain transfer control of the aircraft to the co-pilot. At this point, the aircraft was virtually off the runway.
The crew initiated action to bring the aircraft to a stop but did not follow the correct procedures; most importantly, they did not select reverse thrust, which would have slowed down the aircraft much faster.
The Minister said there was also lack of adequate co-ordination among the crew during the flight.
According to Madam Dapaah, there was a reported case of one passenger who was severely injured, among other injuries, as well as the damage of the Precision Approach Path Indicator light and inner perimeter fence at the KIA.


ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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An Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of A Senior Journalist with Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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