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Cockpit Crew Caused Starbow Crash — Aviation Minister   
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Findings of investigations conducted into the crash of a Starbow aircraft have revealed that the crash was caused by the failure of the cockpit crew to execute the correct procedures in aborting the take-off.

The findings also disclosed that the crash was occasioned by the loss of situational awareness on the part of the crew, the Minister of Aviation, Ms Cecilia Dapaah, disclosed in Parliament on Tuesday.

She was answering a question posed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu, Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, as to what caused the crash of the Starbow plane at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on November 25, 2017.

After the crash, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) constituted a five-member committee to investigate the accident to ascertain the probable causes and make recommendations to prevent future occurrence.

Presenting the findings of the investigation, Ms Dapaah said there were 60 passengers, three infants and five crew members on board the flight to Kumasi.

She said the weather at the time was clear but deteriorated rapidly and resulted in heavy downpour before the pilots were ready to take off.

"During the take-off run, the aircraft gradually drifted the runway without the crew appreciating it as a result of the severity of the weather.

"In the process, the captain's seat inadvertently moved rearward, which made the captain transfer control of the aircraft to the co-pilot. At that point, the aircraft was virtually off the runway," she said.

She said the crew initiated action to bring the aircraft to a stop but did not follow the correct procedures, as they did not select reverse thrusts, which would have slowed down the aircraft much faster.

Ms Dapaah said one passenger was severely injured, four others had minor injuries, while there was damage to a Precision Approach Path Indicator light, as well as the inner perimeter fence at the KIA.

Preventive measures

She said the ministry, in collaboration with stakeholders, was putting in place measures to make air transport safe and prevent the recurrence of such accidents.

She said the Ghana Airports Company Limited was reviewing its standard operational procedures and responses of all first respondents.

Starbow, she added, had been tasked to review its operational control and ensure it hired adequate qualified operational personnel.

Ms Dapaah said Starbow would arrange a retraining of its crew to include cockpit resource management and aborted take-off procedures.
Source: Daily Graphic

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