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Row brews between Lebabanese media and Ethiopian Airlines over air crash inquiry

Posted 6 January 2011 · Add Comment

Lebanese TV has revealed that the committee conducting the inquiry into the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET409 into the sea off Beirut a year ago, will formally meet to begin formulating its findings in Addis Ababa on January 24

But the station kicked off a row by claiming the investigation so far revealed that the crash occurred because of poor judgment by the  Ethiopian Airlines management in choosing the crew, especially since the the captain and his copilot ,were exhausted as a result of working more than a hundred flight hours during that month, while according to international regulations they should not be working more than sixty flight hours.

It went on to say that the captain and his copilot did not have enough experience in flying such a plane . It quoted sources of saying that 1500 flying hours are required to fly the 737 while neither the captain nor the copilot had more than 200 hours of experience.

The station added that the investigation so far confirms the preliminary report of May 2010 which revealed that “both the pilot’s and co-pilot’s inexperience with the jet was “certainly behind the accident”.

This report was met with fury by the Ethiopians who described the TV reports and the coverage in newspaper Ya Libnan as "unfounded and speculative."

In a statement the airline said that it "refutes the repeated attempts by some Lebanese media to sway the public opinion by publishing unfounded and speculative information as to the cause behind the accident".

Ethiopian Airlines accused Ya Libnan of publishing "groundless information", adding that it "condemns the intentional effort by some Lebanese media to delude the public by disseminating baseless information".

The carrier says it "firmly maintains its position not to comment on the causes of the accident" prior to the official release of the crash investigation's findings.

Flight ET409 crashed into the Mediterranean shortly after departing Beirut airport for Addis Ababa on 25 January 2010, killing 82 passengers and eight crew members.

The findings are expected to be released in April.

 

 

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