Human error cause of crash of Cyprus military aircraft

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The crash of a National Guard PC-9 single-prop aircraft on September 10 was primarily due to human error, an investigative committee into the cause of the crash has concluded.

Defence Minister Kyriakos Mavronikolas has described the report as “a tragic end to an accident which has affected the National Guard and others.”

“What we are seeking to do in the future is not to have a repetition of such accidents,” he said, but refrained from further comment on the conclusions of the committee.

He noted however that the Air Force will look into the matter and decide accordingly.

The report excluded the possibility of “mechanical failure and concluded that human factor contributed decisively to the cause of the accident.”

“The decision of the crew, at their own initiative, to divert from the planned flight path, to pass by Kolossi village at a low height to mark their presence” is a cause of the crash, in addition to the “delayed reaction of the crew to the sudden loss of height.”

Two airmen were killed when their trainer patrol aircraft crashed in Kolossi village, near the southern coastal town of Limassol, hitting a church bell tower and landing into an empty house. No other casualties were reported.

The accident came barely a month after the August 14 disaster near Athens, when a Helios Airlines Boeing 737 crashed killing all 121 persons, mostly Cypriots, on board. An investigation into the crash is still underway, headed by Greece’s aviation expert Akrivos Tsolakis.