Libya 2010 plane crash due to pilot error: report

The crash of a Libyan airliner at Tripoli airport in 2010, in which 103 people died, was due to pilot error and a lack of coordination between the pilot and co-pilot, Libya's civil aviation authority said on Thursday.

The two failed to coordinate their actions during the initial approach, with the final approach attempted below the minimum descent altitude and the runway not visible, the Libyan authority said in its report.

Realising that the approach had been misjudged, the co-pilot, who was in command, attempted to pull the plane up in order to perform a new landing, which disabled the auto pilot.

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But the captain had retaken control of the aircraft without informing his co-pilot, leading to the crash, said the report.

It blamed a lack of coordination between the two pilots, and the "inappropriate application of flight control inputs" during the attemped "go-around."

The report questioned the procedures of Afriqiyah, the Libyan airline.

It said the crew had not reported that a priority button next to the pilot was defective, and had already interrupted an attempted landing on the same runway, with the same aircraft two weeks before the crash.

The weather conditions and the crew's state of fatigue were also contributing factors in the crash, the report added.

The Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330 flight from Johannesburg to Tripoli disintegrated on landing in the Libyan capital in May 2010, killing 103 people on board, most of whom were from the Netherlands.

A nine-year-old Dutch boy was the only survivor of the crash that killed his parents and brother.

Other nationalities included Austrian, Belgian, British, French, German, Libyan, South African and Zimbabwean.

An initial probe, based on recordings found in the plane's black box that were analysed in France, indicated that technical problems were not to blame.

© 2013 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Feb 28, 2013