March 2, 2018

Investigations into the Starbow crash by a five member committee has blamed poor weather as the cause of the crush.

The Airline which was on flight from Accra to Kumasi overshot the runway at Kotoka International Airport as it attempted a takeoff on Saturday November 25, 2017.

The plane, with 63 passengers and five crew members, ended up fencing around the airport, leaving dozens of passengers traumatized. Starbow following the crash, suspended operation.

Minister for Aviation Cecilia Dapaah on Tuesday revealed that the local airline has been ordered to review its operational procedures and retrain its crew when she answered an urgent question on the floor of the House.
She said during the take-off, the airline gradually drifted off the runway without the crew appreciating it, as a result of the severity of the weather.

The Minister noted that in the process the captain seat inadvertently moved rearward which made the captain transfer control of the aircraft to the co-pilot.

“At this point, the aircraft was virtually off the runway,” she told the House.

The crew, she said, initiated action to bring the aircraft to a stop but did not follow the correct procedures.
“Most importantly, they did not select best track which would have slowed down the aircraft much faster. There was also lack of adequate coordination among the crew during the flight,” she said.

The preliminary findings based on the investigations carried out, she told the lawmakers, are “loss of situational awareness from the part of the cockpit crew leading to runway excursion and failure by the crew to execute correct procedures in aborting the takeoff.”

The findings thus direct Starbow to review its professional portfolio and ensure it hires adequate, qualified operational personnel. It should also arrange a retraining of its crew to include cockpit resource management and appropriate takeoff procedures.

It should further ensure that the air-worthiness directive number 2016—0256 is effected on all subsequent ATRs before they are added to their fleet.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/