LATAM A320neo pilots jailed after fire engine crash

After a runway collision on Friday involving a takeoff LATAM Airlines Airbus A320neo and fire truck crossing the runway The pilots of flight LA ​​2213 were arrested and detained in Lima before being released on Saturday evening. The arrests of the pilots have raised concerns among the International Association of Airline Pilots (IFALPA).

An overview of what happened

The The accident happened at Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávezwhere LATAM Airlines was to operate domestic flight LA ​​2213 using one of its own airbus A320neo registered CC-BHB. Everything was normal as the pilots were preparing for the run and were ready to take off.


As LA 2213 accelerated for takeoff, airport fire engines were crossing the same runway. Unfortunately, the pilots of LA 2213 were unable to stop the aircraft, which accelerated to more than 120 knots, resulting in a tragic collision with one of the airport’s fire engines.

The accident resulted in the destruction of the landing gear and the right engine and wing fire. While lucky that No passengers or crew were injured in LA 2213, unfortunately, this cannot be said about the firefighters who drove the fire truck. Two died, one remains in serious condition.

As a result of the crash, the crew of LA 2213 was arrested and taken into custody. Following the discovery of their arrests, IFALPA expressed its concern as the union stressed that the crew should have received immediate medical attention and examination before being subject to criminal arrest. The union said:

“Under no circumstances should the crew of LATAM 2213 be questioned immediately following any accident or incident until they have been professionally assessed by qualified medical personnel. The assessment should help determine their mental and physical fitness to provide accurate information. to the investigators.”

The trade union also emphasized that the arrest of pilots so quickly completely ignored the principles of a positive safety culture as set out in Annex 13 (Investigation of Aviation Accidents and Incidents) and Annex 19 (Safety Management) of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

Most importantly, IFALPA noted that immediate arrest would lead the public to believe that an accident as a result of deliberate actions by the pilots instead of considering other possible causes. Other causes included technical or mechanical problems or even a series of human errors caused by various factors.

The pilots were eventually released from custody on Saturday night, although it remains unclear if they are still under arrest. Despite this, IFALPA continues to encourage the Peruvian authorities to follow and comply with ICAO’s positive safety culture principles for the remainder of the investigation.

Part of the emergency drill

The release of the pilots is believed to have come after Peruvian officials discovered that the fire trucks crossing the runway were participating in a fire drill nearby and had allegedly entered the runway without permission. The exercise was part of a disaster response exercise required in preparation for the new runway, which is due to be ready in January.

According to Peruvian aviation regulations, the exercise aimed to confirm that airport fire services could reach the scene of an emergency on the runway within three minutes. The regulations also required the airport operator to conduct such unannounced drills in coordination with air traffic services at least three times a year.

But according to the operator of the airport, the firefighters received permission to conduct exercises and cross the runway. Firefighters coordinated with air traffic services the day before, and the exercise was due to begin between 3pm and 4pm on the day of the crash.

Air traffic controllers allegedly confirmed a start time of 3:10 p.m., and the investigation revealed that it was at 3:11 p.m. that LA 2213 collided with one of the fire engines. Given the conflicting views, the airport operator said it would continue to work with the relevant authorities to establish all the facts of the investigation.

Source: Business Wire, FlightGlobal

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