BALPA, the UK pilots’ association, is calling for more investment in new technology and an end to “irresponsible speculation” following the release of the latest MH370 report.
Following the release today of a long-awaited report on the mystery of the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 flight, the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has said that this should put to bed all the “unfair speculation” around the role of the pilots and also urged the industry to invest in new technology.
It was widely speculated at the time of the incident and subsequently that a pilot on the aircraft was to blame for the missing flight but at the press conference this morning, lead investigator Kok Soo Chon said there is “no evidence” to suggest this was the case.
The report concludes that the plane was manually turned around mid-air, rather than being under the control of autopilot, and that “unlawful interference by a third party” could not be ruled out, the Guardian reports.
The association also says that new technologies could help stop a similar situation happening in future.
BALPA Head of Flight Safety, Dr Rob Hunter, said: “People found it incredible that in this day and age we could lose track of an aircraft in this way. We believe a global push to replace the old technology that still sits in cockpits would help avoid accidents and help accident investigation.
“For example, computer interfaces and navigation functions still use the old 1980s-style typed commands, and this issue does feature as being contributory to a number of accidents. This accident has led to an industry-wide response to develop better systems for aircraft tracking and the recovery of flight data recorders from stricken aircraft, which we support.”
Hunter added: “It is very sad that the cause of this accident has not been found but we hope the accusations about the pilot somehow being to blame are now firmly put to bed.
“Speculation on the cause of accidents can be distressing for the relatives of the victims and it can divert the investigating team. It is irresponsible to slander the reputation, professionalism and memory of a pilot who was as much a victim of this accident as anyone else, without any evidence. Indeed, we increasingly see commentators leap to medical or psychological causes when in fact technical and regulatory causes are more likely to be at the root of an accident or incident.
“We hope, for the furtherance of aviation safety and for feelings of the bereaved that one day the cause for this accident will be found.”