Starbow investigative report points to human error

The investigative committee set up to look into the cause of the Starbow aircraft accident at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on November 25, 2017 has established human error on the part of the airline crew as the cause.

In a statement, the Ministry of Aviation said investigations pointed to “Loss of situational awareness on the part of the cockpit crew, leading to runway excursion”, and “Failure by the crew to execute the correct procedures in aborting the take-off.”

The airline, which intends to resume operations in mid-year, has therefore been directed to arrange a re-training of its crew to include Crew Resource Management (CRM) and aborted take-off procedures, while it reviews its operational control and ensure it hires adequate qualified operational personnel.

Starbow is also to ensure that the Airworthiness Directive (AD) No. 2016-0256 is effected on all subsequent ATRs before they are added to their fleet whereas Pilots are advised to exercise extra caution when taking off in adverse weather conditions.

The Ministry, as part of measures to maintain air transport safety and also curtail the re-occurrence of these accidents recommends a review its Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) and responses of all first respondents Ghana Airports Company Limited.

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, is also enjoined to ensure all staff are familiar with all requirements of the accident and incident procedures contained in existing SOPS and establish a standing preliminary investigation team with approved procedures which will include the authority to request medical and toxicology tests.

Meanwhile government has expressed its commitment to encourage and support local airlines and entrepreneurs set up strong private airlines that can fully utilize all the nation’s route rights.