Page 4 - InterPilot Vol 1 No 3
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On investigations

and crew security

n recent months, we experienced two events that challenged of the world, security is more than taking precautions during
Iour industry in general and commercial airline pilots each of our flight segments. We must be thinking and acting to
specifically. The crash of Asiana 214 in July, followed in August determine the safest way to navigate our pilots through regions
by the kidnapping of two Turkish pilots in Lebanon, illustrate which are in the midst of economic, political, or social turmoil,
why we all must continue to build on the safety and technical such as Beirut. In many layover cities, cockpit crews are at risk
goals of the Federation. of becoming targets for criminals.
While governments may be responsible for monitoring
ASIANA 214 INVESTIGATION security levels within their territory and advising citizens of
When the Asiana 214 accident occurred on July 6th, the media risks (ie, travel warnings), airlines as employers also have a
and public took an immediate and overwhelming interest in the clear responsibility and obligation to minimize the risk for
event. As we have seen many times before, in the media’s quest crews and passengers.
to be the first to break headline news, some trusted news Airlines must evaluate whether or not it is necessary to
outlets’ priorities shifted away from reporting the most factual fly into a destination that poses a security risk, and under
information, and turned to beating other sources to the “story.” what conditions it shall cease operations if doubts about local
Such media hype, combined with public interest, can safety arise. This may mean that airlines must put procedures
generate extreme pressure on parties responsible for ensuring in place to monitor the safety situations of the destinations
that the accuracy and thoroughness of an investigation is their crews fly to, while simultaneously taking all necessary
maintained following such an event, for example, politicians measures to prevent crews from becoming the targets of
and the Accident Investigation Board (AIB). criminal acts.
IFALPA strongly supports the completion of an undisturbed Furthermore, pilots must be able to exercise their right to
and objective investigation, carried out according to ICAO refuse to go on a flight where they feel unsafe – without having
SARPs, before any conclusions are drawn, published, and shared to fear personal consequences.
with the media. As pilots, we must, through our professional associations,
The sole aim of an investigation is to analyze what occurred be involved in the security process. From knowing the threat
so that we may learn from it and, in turn, prevent similar to ensuring procedures and policies are in place, we must be
events from occurring. Any unnecessary, premature, or involved stakeholders. It is not only our passengers who may
preliminary release of information related to the investigation be at risk; we may also be at risk after we safely deliver them
works against that purpose and heightens the risk of false to their destination.
speculation and misunderstanding. Governments and I urge each of you to closely examine the security procedures
regulators should give AIBs the legal and organizational in place for operations in areas of turmoil. Engage your
framework to function independently and thoroughly. government and management counterparts to ensure the
IFALPA has extensive experience with accident investigation, safest and most secure plan is in effect for all of your
and stands ready and willing to offer worldwide assistance operations. Our passengers and crews deserve nothing less.
if needed. Capt Don Wykoff
President, IFALPA
In regard to the kidnapping of two Turkish Airlines pilots on
August 9th, first and foremost, IFALPA is happy these two Following a year serving as the Federation’s deputy
men were freed from their captors and returned home to their president, Capt Wykoff was elected as IFALPA’s 17th
families, unharmed. Although this particular story ended well, president at the 66th Conference in 2011. Formerly the
executive administrator of ALPA International, he has been
as pilots, we must still consider how we can prevent similar
active in the technical work of his home association since
events from occurring in the future.
1993 and IFALPA work since 2009. Based in Detroit,
This incident serves as a reminder of why pilots have to be
Capt Wykoff flies 767s for Delta Air Lines.
active, engaged participants in aviation security. In many parts
Vol 1 | No 3 | October 2013 InterPilot | The Safety and Technical Journal of IFALPA
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