LONDON – The two pilots involved in the LATAM crash – a South American LATAM Airlines Airbus A320neo which collided with a fire truck which resulted in the deaths of two firefighters on Friday – were arrested and held in a custody for over 24 hours following the accident.
The flight designated LA2213 had been taking off from Peru’s Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez when a wing of the departing aircraft struck the fire truck, which was attempting to cross the runway.
PHOTO: via Twitter
The two flight crew members were subsequently arrested and held in custody in Lima until Saturday night.
The International Federation of Airline Pilot’s Association (IFALPA) has taken the extraordinary step of issuing a press statement, saying that they have been monitoring the situation closely.
On the matter of the two pilots being arrested and held in custody, IFALPA has stated: “The Federation considers this situation unacceptable.”
“Holding individuals in custody who are already under intense psychological pressure due to an accident is extremely detrimental to flight safety and can only hinder the investigation.”
The Federation further expressed their concern with regards to the breach of laid down safety protocols, saying, “it shows a complete disregard for the Positive Safety Culture principles laid out by Annexes 13 (Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation) and 19 (Safety Management) to the Convention on International Aviation.
“In any similar circumstances, the flight crew should be provided immediate medical care and evaluation,” it continued.
“In no circumstances is it appropriate to question them in the immediate aftermath of any accident or incident until they have been professionally evaluated by qualified medical personnel who can determine their mental and physical fitness to contribute accurate information to investigators.”
The Federation was also concerned about the perception that the jailing of the flight crew members would instil in the general public, saying: “It may also lead the public to conclude that the accident resulted from the flight crew’s intentional acts, rather than technical issues or a string of errors originating from multiple factors.”
IFALPA continues to monitor the unfolding situation following the LATAM crash.