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    Posted June 25, 2013 by
    Pasay City, Philippines

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    CAAP suspends Cebu Pacific pilots in Davao accident

    CAAP suspends Cebu Pacific pilots in Davao accident
    By: Eric B. Apolonio June 25, 2013 3:30 PM
    MANILA - (UPDATE 4, 5:22 p.m.) Aviation authorities have suspended effective today the pilots manning Cebu Pacific Flight No. 5J 971 that overshot the Davao runway early this month.

    The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), together with the with Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), has released earlier today the results of its investigation of the accident.

    "[It was] definitely pilot error," CAAP deputy director general John Andrews said in a briefing.
    Findings showed that on June 2, Cebu Pacific Flight No. 5J-971 using an Airbus 320-213, departed from Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 5:40 p.m. en route to Davao International Airport.

    The flight reached its destination at 7:07 p.m. During landing, the aircraft rolled out of the runway, came to a halt, and was eventually immobilized 845 meters from its point of touchdown.

    CAAP's investigating panel interviewed the agency's personnel, firemen, Cebu Pacific's cabin crew, and the pilots. The team likewise reviewed the transcripts of the control tower and approach control, as well as those found in the cockpit voice recorder. It also performed visual inspections of both the runway and the aircraft.

    The CAAP investigation--which was supported by the animation made by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board of Singapore and accredited by International Civil Aviation Organization--found that Captain Antonio Roehl Oropesa is liable for the following violations:
    1. Non-adherence of the privision of philippine civial aviation regulations (PCAR) relating to operation below decision height or minimum descent altitude;
    2. Non-compliance with the PCAR provisions relating to emergency evacuation demonstration;
    3. Non-compliance with the PCAR provisions relating to cockpit checklist procedures.
    First Officer Edwin Perello, who assisted in the said Cebu Pacific flight, was found to be liable for violating the following:
    1. Non-compliance with PCAR provisions relating to emergency evacuation;
    2. Non-compliance with PCAR provisions relating to cockpit checklist
    Because of these, the Oropesa and Perello would be suspended for six months and three months, respectively.

    Because of these, the Oropesa and Perello would be suspended for six months and three months, respectively, upon the receipt of orders.

    After Oropesa's six-month suspension has lapsed and his compliance with the requirements for the reinstatement of his Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL), the senior pilot can only act as Second-in-Command for a one year.

    Perello, on the other hand, would have to comply with the requirements for the reinstatement of his Commercial Pilot License.

    While Andrews said the Gokongwei-led airline is "safe", CAAP has asked Cebu Pacific to comply with its action plan and is "encouraged to reasses its aircraft turnaround time policy from 30 minutes to 45 minutes."

    Since the accident is due to pilot error, Andrews said there is no reason to sanction Cebu Pacific since CAAP is already "correcting this to put them on the right track."

    The carrier must also reassess its accountable executives and station managers, with emphasis on operating and fostering a corporate culture more focused on safety. It has must also do random sampling of flight crew's capabilities in unusual situations via the flight simulator.
    Cebu Pacific must also grant unrestricted access to CAAP flight inspectors so that they can conduct heightened performance monitoring starting July 1.

    "The evaluation must be completed not later than July 31, 2013 and findings of any continuing systematic failure during the sampling exercise will result to the suspension of Cebu Pacific operation," Andrews added.

    In a statement, Cebu Pacific said the airline will comply with all the recommendations indicated within the Notice of Decision of CAAP.

    "Safety has always been the highest priority for Cebu Pacific. We aim to provide the safest airline service possible for the millions of passengers who travel with us every year," the country's biggest low-cost carrier said.

    On top of CAAP’s recommendations, Cebu Pacific said it has initiated the following activities:
    • Enhancement of current training curriculum to include additional focus on wet runway landings, “go-arounds,” specific training for inclement weather and non-precision approaches;
    • Implementation of enhanced pilot training curriculum by Airbus standardized trainers at the Philippine Academy for Aviation Training, the only facility in the country that belongs to the CAE-Airbus Training cooperation, with two state-of-the-art full flight simulators;
    • An independent review of flight operation systems and processes by Airbus Industries. Airbus will deploy a team of Safety, Flight Operations and Human Factor experts to Manila for this review.
    "Overseeing these initiatives is Capt. Jim Sydiongco, Cebu Pacific’s Vice President - Flight Operations. His experience in the aviation industry spans over 37 years," the carrier said.

    Capt. Sydiongco was the former head of CAAP's the Flight Standards Inspectorate Service (FSIS) and served as chief pilot for Safety Standards and Systems at Philippine Airlines for 21 years. He was also the senior safety supervisor of EVA Air for 16 years).
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