Published on September 13th, 2020 | by Mark Dwyer0
Further Delays for Rescue 116 Report
As we reported in January, the final report by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) into the fatal accident involving Rescue 116 (Sikorsky S-92A, EI-ICR) on 14th March 2017 was delayed pending a review after the 333-page draft final report was circulated to stakeholders last September.
In March of this year, a review board was established to examine certain findings following a request from one of the parties subject to the investigation. According to a report by RTÉ last week, witnesses have yet to be called before the board. Regulation 15 of the Air Navigation Regulations 2009 states that “Any person who has been served with a draft final report under Regulation 12 may, within a period of 28 days of receiving it, serve on the Minister written notice (in these Regulations referred to as a “notice of re-examination”) that the person wishes any findings and conclusions in that report that appear to reflect adversely on the person’s reputation”. It’s unclear which party has requested the re-examination.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport told RTÉ that the review was entirely independent and that it was a matter for the chairman to determine how the process would be carried out and how long it would take to complete. The board is chaired by Senior Counsel Patrick McCann, who is being assisted by independent expert Philip Hanson, aviation technical assurance manager with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
This is the first time in the 25 year history of the AAIU (and over 1000 reports) that a report has been referred to a review board. According to the regulations, “The review board shall consist of a chairperson (who shall be either a barrister or solicitor of not less than 10 years’ standing, or a person who, in the Minister’s opinion, possesses aeronautical, engineering or other special knowledge or experience of air navigation or aviation), and may also include one or more persons who, in the Minister’s opinion, possesses aeronautical, engineering, legal or other special knowledge, to act as technical assessors to assist the chairperson in conducting the re-examination.”
The AAIU published an interim statement relating to the accident on 12th March 2020.