PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Judge rules crash black box should be handed over to police
Old 28th Jun 2015, 23:11
  #90 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: I used to know
Posts: 175
Quite apart from the outcome of the forthcoming AAIB report in this case the ruling raises several questions which we as pilots need to understand and answer.

Firstly will this ruling affect the independent investigation of this accident by the AAIB?

Answer No. They already have all the evidence and data they need.

Next has the LAW been broken?

No. All parties have followed the law. The relevant eu legislation allows for the police to gain access to the data if a court rules it. The police applied for access, then the AAIB said no unless you go to court the police did so.

Thats the easy bit,

Next shoild we deny a criminal investigation team access to relevant data? If there is ctv footage of a murder would you deny the police the right to view it?

The answer should be easy however in the case of CVR evidence we need to see how that evidence came into being. Right from the start we as pilots agreed to allow cvr in order to promote flight safety. Not for the purposes of prosecution.
That has been enshrined in law, but crucially allows in exceptional circumstances the use under court agreement, by thd police etc.
No one on this forum has said pilots should be imune from prosecution and there hss been ( as far as I am aware ) an agreement that the AAIB should ge allowed to get on with it's job unhindered by the police. Once the investigation is complete the police can see quite clearly if prosecution is not only appropriate, but in the public interest. (Or not).

In this case the police /lord advocate apear to have jumped the gun, the reasons for their application are not unique and their case could await the report without any harm being done.

At the extreme end we can see the effect of inappropriate police action, in Italy. Namely the ATR crash where the police seized all the evidence and only reluctantly released it under a court order. The transcript of the cvr was released to the press with lots of adverse comments the night before the cvr was returned to the investigators, their report states they were unable to comply with EU law and annex 13 because of the actions of the Italian police!

Lastly will this case decrease flight safety?
In other words will pilots and others be less forthright and open as a result?
Will there be more cases of the erase button being pressed?
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