Directorate of Accident Investigation accuses CAAB on sleeping on the job

27 Aug 2018

A fresh report by the Directorate of Accident Investigation (DAI) has accused the Civil Aviation Authority Botswana (CAAB) of sleeping on the job following an incident in which a student at International Aviation Solutions (IAS) Aviation Academy was involved in a fatal crash.

The report recommended that CAAB should come up with a requirement for Aviation Training Organisations (ATOs) to  provide some form of compensation plan for trainee pilots in case of occurrences leading to fatalities or permanent disabilities.

“Quite apart from the insurance cover for the aircraft, there was no evidence of any insurance cover for trainee pilots. There was no indication that CAAB, as the regulatory authority responsible for setting standards for ATOs like the IAS Aviation Academy and others, called for such,” reads the report.

The report states that the Pilot-In-Command (PIC) or student trainee initiated a simulated forced landing during her first solo in the Geographical Forecast Area (GFA) and before checking the entire terrain first was deemed a contributory factor in this occurrence.

It also states that that the probability that the trainee’s vision was somewhat compromised, impaired or reduced, depriving her to clearly see the power line directly ahead (until very late) was deemed to be a contributory factor in this occurrence.

“Common sense would suggest that such would be one of the basic requirements before any school is allowed to conduct flight training, it is just the modern way of doing any business. With such having been a regulatory requirement, the sponsors like the DTEF (Department of Tertiary Education Financing) would have made provisions for that in the structuring of the school fees,” stated in the report.

Furthermore, the investigation made efforts to establish if similar institutions globally do have such an insurance cover or equivalent compensation plan, but it seemed as though no known flight training institution has such a provision or requirement yet.

Furthermore, the report stated that the PIC (deceased student) did not comply with the provisions of Civil Aviation (Aircraft Operations) Regulations, 2013, neither did she adhere to the minimum height of 200 ft agl for the execution of go-around which was prescribed in the IAS TPM. Also stated is that the PIC was in the process of simulating a forced landing when she suddenly realised the power line ahead and attempted to turn or bank to the right in order to avoid impact.

“The probable cause of this occurrence was collision with one cable of the power line ripping off the port wing, after the occurrence aircraft suddenly turned/banked to the right and raising the port wing to above the original flight level,”  the report states.