Published on October 11th, 2020 | by Mark Dwyer0
More Delays for Rescue 116 Report
As we reported last month, the report into the Rescue 116 accident on 14th March 2017 was delayed as witnesses had yet to be called before the review board. 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. RTÉ Investigates reported this week that the independent expert of the board, Philip Hanson, has resigned due to a conflict of interest. Mr Hanson disclosed that he had a personal connection with a senior manager at the helicopter operator, CHC. That manager was due to give evidence on behalf of CHC to the review board. This will now delay the publication of the AAIU report indefinitely until a replacement is found. Finding someone with the required technical expertise without any connection to CHC will be a difficult task. CHC is one of the largest helicopter companies in the world with a fleet of 250 aircraft in 30 countries.
It’s now over a year since the draft AAIU report into the Rescue 116 accident was circulated to stakeholders. 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. 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. The board is Chaired by Senior Counsel Patrick McCann.