ISLAMABAD, Nov 10: The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has described as not comprehensive a report prepared by the Safety Investigation Board (SIB) and made public by the government about the Airblue plane crash.
The ICAO found that many of the findings did not have factual information to support them, Dawn learnt on Saturday.
An Airblue jetliner crashed into the Margalla hills on July 28, 2010, killing all 146 passengers and six crew members on board.
The ICAO members visited Pakistan after the Peshawar High Court issued orders on Jan 19 this year, dealing with the reopening of investigation. The court had directed the ministry of defence to submit the ICAO report by Nov 16. PML-N leader Marvi Memon is in litigation against the federal government on behalf of the crash victims, seeking a fresh probe into the crash.
According to a ministry of defence report made available to Dawn, the three-member ICAO accident investigation technical team, also acting as a fact-finding team, visited Pakistan from June 4 to June 8. The ministry’s report carried a copy of the ICAO report.
The ICAO in its report said that “accident investigation authority — SIB, as well as investigation process, is indeed not independent”.
It suggested the SIB independently revise the final report posted on the Civil Aviation Authority’s website in the interest of accident prevention and said the revised draft final report should be made available to the public.
In August last year, the federal government made the crash report public and the CAA posted it on its website in December.
The ICAO report said that its team was not provided a copy of the main report but was only allowed to examine it under the supervision of an investigator.
The ICAO report said: “Some of the factual information from various parts of the draft final report (main investigation report) and the analysis were removed and the revised draft final report was approved as the final report by the federal government and circulated for comments to international and domestic stakeholders as per international laws.”
It noted: “Final report contained the basic information of the aircraft and a statement that the aircraft had been airworthy to undertake the flight. Information about the maintenance of the aircraft, the mass and balance were missing. It was evident that the aircraft documentation was scrutinised during the investigation to assess the airworthiness of the aircraft, loading and maintenance history and no concerns were raised.”
The ICAO report highlighted that in the final report the basic information about the flight crew was available, but information about flight hours (experience of the staff), training and proficiency, route checks, medical history, duty and rest time, and personality profiles was missing.
The ICAO team maintained that final report provided a short description of medical and pathological information. It found that many of the findings did not have factual information to support them, and in other cases findings contained phrases which were typically analysis of factual information.
The ICAO team concluded that this was a result of the review process of the ministry of defence (which issued a reviewed draft report after the issuance of final report).