, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – Kenya Airways has faulted parts of the report into the KQ507 plane crash that was released on Thursday, citing three key points which it said contain major inconsistencies.
The airline’s Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni said they concurred with the report’s conclusion of the probable cause of the crash but, disagreed with areas which cover auto-pilot engagement procedures and the blame put on the airline on adequate safety oversight capacity.
Mr Naikuni and a team of senior managers from the airline told reporters that they did not agree with the report’s finding that the First Officer had not undergone adequate training, saying the report contradicts itself on other chapters where it states the dates the said officer underwent that training.
“That doesn’t mean that the fact that we differ with those three positions, we are rubbishing the report; (it is) a very good report… it is useful and there are learning lessons out of it,” Mr Naikuni said.
A statement by the airline said it had accepted the report but held a different position on three key areas.
1. Auto pilot engagement
Procedures for engagement of the autopilot at the time were similar to the manufacturer’s procedures.
These procedures, KQ said, “are clearly laid out in our standard operating procedures.”
“The statement in the report indicates that there was no requirement to either confirm engagement or announce a flight mode change as indicated on the Flight Mode Announciator (FMA) panel. This is in conflict with our standard operating procedures that require both.”
2. Safety Oversight Capacity
Mr Naikuni also faulted the report for inconsistencies he said were highlighted in page 54/58 under the heading Organization of KQ.
Part of the report states: “The control of KQ is adequately organised: there is a safety program, a quality control program and an operations manual approved by KCAA (Kenya Civil Aviation Authority).”
However, under the heading conclusions pg 56/58 it says: “Adequate safety oversight capacity was lacking.”
3. Crew Resource Management Training
On page 43/58, second paragraph it says “There is no evidence that the Flight Officer did effectively undergo a CRM training for which he had been programmed in September 2006.”
However, under the heading CRM Training 18.104.22.168 pg 54/58, it says: “The flight Officer underwent CRM training course on 25-26th September 2006 but during flight KQA507 does not participate in the monitoring of the piloting.”
KQ Captain Stuart Hutchison defended the late pilot Francis Wamwea Mbatia over blame placed on him by the report that he was too domineering.
“In fact the report even goes ahead to say that the Captain was trying to re-assure the first officer who seemed to be a bit apprehensive about the weather. It also says that the captain was a very friendly person… so you see it has a lot of inconsistencies and then it does not say where it draws the fact that he was paternalistic,” he said.
“That’s why we generally accept the report but there are certain areas we think it is not quite true.”
Mr Naikuni also said the Capitan Mbatia and co-pilot Andrew Kiuru had each clocked the required hours and were allowed to fly the Boeing 737 which crashed in Douala, Cameroon killing all the 114 passengers and crew on board.
“The First Officer was appropriately certified and qualified to operate a B737-800. We have minimum experience criteria for varying pilot positions in the airline that meet KCAA requirements and these are strictly adhered to,” he said.
Mr Naikuni further defended the airline saying KQ had just conducted a major transformation of its operations based on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) “and indeed we were the first airline in Sub-Saharan Africa to attain this prestigious safety rating.”