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Parliament briefed on the cause of Starbow plane crashed

By: Kester Korankye
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Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah
Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah

Minister for Aviation, Mrs Cecilia Dapaah, has given assurance that the ministry is collaborating with other stakeholders in the industry to make air transport safe and also curtail the re-occurrence of accidents in future.

She made this known on the floor of Parliament in an answer to a question which stood in the name of Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, the Minority Spokesperson on Roads and Transport and MP for Adaklu, who wanted to know the cause of the Starbow crash last year.

Mrs Dapaah said the failure by the cockpit crew of a Starbow airline to execute the correct procedures in aborting the take-off caused the plane’s crash at the Kotoka International Airport on November 25, last year.

The minister said a number of measures were being pursued, including the review of the operational control of Starbow to ensure that it hired adequate qualified operational personnel.

Mrs Dapaah said Starbow would arrange a retraining of its crew to include Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) and aborted take-off procedures, and directed Starbow to ensure that the Airworthiness Directive (AD) No 2016-0256 is effected on all subsequent arts before they are added to their fleet.

Also, pilots should also exercise extra caution when taking off in adverse weather conditions.

She announced that the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) was to establish a standing preliminary investigation team with approved procedures which will include the authority to request medical and toxicology tests.

Other measures are that the Ghana Airports Company Limited would review its Standard Operations Procedures (SOPS) and responses of all respondents, and also the Management of Air Traffic Control of the GCAA to ensure that all staff were familiar with the requirements of accident and incident procedures contained in SOPs.

The minister said a five member committee was set up last December to investigate the accident in order to ascertain the “probable cause(s)” of the accident and make recommendations to prevent future occurrence.

The investigation revealed that Starbow Flight IKM104 started taxing for departure to Kumasi; and there were 60 passengers, three infants and five crew members on board.

The weather at the time was clear but deteriorated rapidly and resulted in a heavy downpour before the pilots were ready to takeoff.

During the takeoff run, the aircraft drifted off the runway without the crew appreciating it as a result of the severity of the weather. At this point, the aircraft was virtually off the runway.

The crew tried to stop the aircraft, but did not follow the correct procedures, most importantly; they did not select reverse thrust, which would have slowed down the aircraft much faster.

The minister said there was also lack of adequate co-ordination among the crew during the flight.

According to Mrs Dapaah, there was a reported case of one passenger, who was severely injured and some minor injuries, as well as the damage of the Precision Approach Path Indicator light and inner perimeter fence at the KIA.GNA/GB