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Italian ATCOs sentenced for allowing visual approach which went bad

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Italian ATCOs sentenced for allowing visual approach which went bad

Old 5th May 2011, 12:27
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Miscarriage of justice is certainly not an Italian specialty.

In the United States, many - if not most - aviation liability lawsuits fall into that category.

The Carnahan v. Parker-Hannifin case is a particularly good example.
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:39
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You get what you pay for

Given that this was Italy, it makes you wonder if there was a good reason to protect the pilot (may he RIP), and if the usual Italian methodoly was applied.
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Old 5th May 2011, 14:34
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It is more likely that as it often happens in italy with cases relating to specialist fields such as aviation the judges involved probably had a very poor understanding (if any at all) of the matter they had to rule on.
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Old 5th May 2011, 15:16
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"...especially when it comes from someone that hides behind a nickname like the 2 smart-asses quoted above..."

And your name is actually Mr. Drag King?
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Old 5th May 2011, 16:40
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It is more likely that as it often happens in italy with cases relating to specialist fields such as aviation the judges involved probably had a very poor understanding (if any at all) of the matter they had to rule on.
Bingo.

Given that this was Italy, it makes you wonder if there was a good reason to protect the pilot (may he RIP), and if the usual Italian methodoly was applied.
The a/c, crew and AOC were Austrian, the ATCO a former military guy (I need to check this info though) and I cannot see any connection nor a reason for clouding waters that are already murky. Unless you have your own opinion and wish to share it.

And your name is actually Mr. Drag King?
No, it is not. And I DO NOT use it to generalise or insult other professionals or people I know little (or nothing) about just for the sake of posting on PPrune. I thought it was part of the forum T&Cs.

So long

DK
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Old 6th May 2011, 08:11
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Thanks for the update Drag King.

If there was nothing to gain from the individuals, I would just put it down to incompetance by the judges. I would love to see the reasoning behind the ruling though.

I suspect it will either be quietly overturned before half the Italian ATC staff quiet in fear of being prosecuted for doing their job or just ignored.
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Old 6th May 2011, 10:42
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It was an air-ambulance flight, supposed to deliver an organ (hearth) and med-team to a patient. If I remember correctly the flight originated in Milan-Linate as an empty sector, landed in Rome where doctors boarded it with the organ outbound to Cagliari. There was a bit of hanging around here and there so there is a tendency to believe the crew tried to make up for some time and it all ended up horribly wrong. I know the medevac flying very well, I do it for living. It happened to me to fly 6 short sectors in a day, ALL approaches as visual, always clear for it maintaining "...OWN TERRAIN SEPARATION..." and that to me says it all about liability.

The emotional shockwave that followed this accident, with loss of lives and the shattered hope of the receiver-patient became food for the press-vultures. We all expect judges and tribunals to be impartial, ALWAYS, but more than that I would like to have a COMPETENT team to face. Sad, sad story.

DK
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Old 6th May 2011, 11:34
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Question did I miss something?

If I'm not mistaken the Ifatca press release is from march 2010.

There is another thread at the ATC forum about this.

Has there been anything new on this issue? Not that I'm not also astonished at the ruling but I really don't see the point to this thread...

Anyway, as for the reasoning, apparently the Atcos issued a level clearance and the pilots interpreted that it was safe to descend to it right now although TWR had intended this to be a clearance depending on the aforementioned statement from the pilots that they were mantaining own separation with the ground.
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Old 18th May 2011, 17:33
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Visual approach

It happens the same on the 6/01/1993 in CDG. Rwy 27 was suddenly blocked because, from the report of an hoding for departure Air France flight, the previous landing hit the ground with one engine creating a lot of sparkling and so debris were expected on the runway. ( night period, sometimes rainy but good vis below clouds). A dash 8 from contact air on final was asked if he was able to perform a visual approach on parallel rwy 28, the answer was : YES, OF COURSE . So he was cleared ...and crash with a landing attitude gear down in a muddy area 1,8 km from the rwy 28 threshold. Unfortunately the wing hit and cut some trees which falls on the "wreckage" and killed 2 passengers.

The aerodrome controller was sentenced by the penal court to 12 months of suspended jail and a fine ( paid by DGCA) ,using the penal french code chapter "mise en danger de la vie d'autrui" - endanger other's life -. From the Attorney point of view he should not have given the visual clearance because the conditions ( distance, met, etc) considered bad by the court, was better known by him than the pilot..!
As DGCA has nothing to blame ( procedures and phraseo were ok) the ATCO came back on duty some days after.

He is still waiting for an IFATCA reaction.......
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Old 18th May 2011, 20:14
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He is still waiting for an IFATCA reaction.......
A7700 :
IFATCA can only act at the request of its member association in the Country., which was APCA at the time.
If my memory is correct APCA asked IFATCA not to interfere as the case was taken on by one of the Unions (SNCTA ?) and DGAC was paying all the defence bills, making sure the controller will not go to jail , not pay any fine himself and will not suffer any professional set back. (which is what I believe happenned in the end )

A totally different case from Italy, where the 2 controllers lost their jobs and will go to jail . Also ANACNA and the 2 Italian Unions are working together with IFATCA .
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Old 18th May 2011, 20:25
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Just moving on a bit, who would be responsible if I pranged on an ILS or God forbid, a circling approach? Using this logic of the court who sentenced these controllers, we would have to imprison the cabin crew or the caterer. So, just out of interest, would someone like to post some email addresses so that we can express our displeasure with some of the idiots in power?

PM
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Old 19th May 2011, 00:13
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What happens when I disconnect the autopilot at 200 feet on a cat I ILS. I then land visually. Is that allowed? So can I fly visually from 1000 feet, or 2????

Muppets who know nothing about aviation act as our assessors and pass ridiculous sentences on innocent professionals.

If I F&@k up, I as the captain am responsible and no one else.
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Old 20th May 2011, 14:56
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Visual approach

As a "member" of the APCA board at this time I never heard or do something about that request.
About the "lobies" reaction, it shall be done quite quickly and at the time it should have been done, nobody was knowing which kind of sentence will be applied.
Unions are not in the loop of the official defense line . What they can do is may be to give money to the respondent to help him to choose a "high level" lawyer._-which was not the case at this time- ( Because if DGCA is acting as the first defender and paying the defense bills, it's mainly to protect first ...DGCA) !!!
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Old 20th May 2011, 21:04
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A7700, Well, the APCA at this time was not in its best years if I remember correctly. But I fully agree with you,effective lobby has to be fast , and no-one at the time knew what to expect. I also agree that Unions can only provide legal support , but as you rightly say, if the employer (DGAC in this case) is paying for it , then it becomes difficult to interfere, as that lawyer will also make sure that DGAC interest are protected first.
Not an easy situation for anyone. I believe the same scenario occurred again against the controller in Strasbourg ( then military but now civilian )who was involved in the Air Inter A320 Mt St Odile crash. The trail came 14 years later ! FATCOA, the successor of APCA also did not ask for IFATCA support then.
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Old 20th May 2011, 21:54
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The scenario appears that they were cleared to fly VFR at night...is that correct?
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Old 21st May 2011, 11:54
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APCA

I disagree with the initial statement. The clash occured end of 1996 when the "Travel service" takes over the national council ( using a devious way facilitated by the 1901 rule managing non profitable association) . All the previous board dismissed and nobody from the new group was able to carry out the ongoing job. After internal fight ( If I am not wrong 2 guilds were present during the Moroco IFATCA Congress !)they finally creates a new guild which has a only few members ( No structure,No name, how they are elected ???) mostly located in Aix ACC and do not represent the previous APCA taskforce.
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Old 26th May 2011, 21:54
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Appears Italy throws its justice system at more than just ATCO for flawed reasons:

Nature News Blog: Italian seismologists to be tried for manslaughter

Six Italian seismologists and one government official will be tried for the manslaughter of those who died in an earthquake that struck the city of L'Aquila on 6 April 2009.

The seven are accused of misinforming the population about seismic risk in the days before the earthquakes, indirectly causing the death of the citizens they had reassured.
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Old 29th May 2011, 03:41
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Imbeciles. My point proved again.
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Old 29th May 2011, 07:08
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Far from defending these absurd trials, I wouldn't limit them to italian nationality. Imbecility is a common human trait

Lawsuits against God - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 10 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of All Time


And not on court but also noteworth for ultimate stupidity:
Darwin Awards - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 29th May 2011, 17:53
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I apologize for my deficient search skills but does anyone have a link to an English version (if one exists) of the underlying accident report that precipitated this action.
ANACNA - Associazione Nazionale Assistenti e Controllori della Navigazione Aerea - Italian air traffic controller's association

hope it helps
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