Home News Spanish National PROSECUTOR ASKS FOR CRASH INVESTIGATION TO REOPEN

PROSECUTOR ASKS FOR CRASH INVESTIGATION TO REOPEN

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PROSECUTOR ASKS FOR CRASH INVESTIGATION TO REOPEN

The prosecutor has requested the case of a crashed Search and Rescue helicopter be reopened, in order to determine if criminal liability can be attributed to the tragedy that saw the loss of three of the four crew members.

The crash of Helimer 207 occurred in January 2010, but recent evidence suggests that the crew did not receive “proper training for such SAR (search and rescue) flights”.

The two key elements now in question are criminal responsibility for those in charge, and the fact that the only survivor, winch operator Alberto Elvira, claims that he was not allowed to give evidence in the enquiry, despite being an “exceptional witness” of the facts, and that “he has not even had a statement taken” about what happened.

The request for additional investigation seeks to deepen the investigation into the accident and determine if it could be a “crime against the rights of workers or recklessness”, which would involve both the training regime and the requisite flight hours.

As the helicopter was operated by a private contractor covering the contract for search and rescue, the investigation following the crash was conducted by the Civil Aviation authority, the findings of which attributed the accident to a “misperception” on behalf of the commander on the altitude at which they were flying, a “visual illusion generalised using external references”, a “misinterpretation in reading instruments” or “a combination” of these factors and a “failure to monitor” the flight parameters by the co-pilot. The report did however question the “lack of training” and human resource management.

Helimer 207 crashed into the sea about five nautical miles from the coast on the night of the 21st of January 21, 2010, when returning to its base after conducting a training exercise. The impact of the crash resulted in the death of the Commander, José Luis López Alcalá, co-pilot Kevin Holmes and rescuer Iñigo Vallejo. The crew were awarded the Gold Medal of Merit for Civil Defence for their work.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45538/

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