Probe on Lionair medevac plane may last 6-12 months: CAAP

Investigation on the Lionair RP C5880 medical evacuation (medevac) plane that burst into flames during takeoff at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Sunday night may last six months to one year, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesperson Eric Apolonio bared on Tuesday.

In an online interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Apolonio said the Philippines does not have a facility that could decode an aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR).

CVR records the audio environment in a flight deck while FDR collects and records data from a variety of aircraft sensors.

CAAP investigators were able to retrieve both the medevac plane’s CVR and FDR on Monday.

Having these devices decoded is a tedious task, Apolonio said, adding that representatives from the aircraft manufacturer, operator, and CAAP investigator need to be present upon sending these abroad.

Possible countries where these will be sent are Singapore, Japan and Australia, he said.

“We’re looking at Singapore. If they (facility) are busy, we have to wait. If they have so much things to do, we can bring the devices to Japan,” Apolonio added.

Apolonio said they are expecting that the final report, which includes the findings, can be submitted to the CAAP director general in six to 12 months.

He noted that CAAP is yet to receive the readout or decoded data of the devices from another Lionair medevac plane that crashed in Laguna in September 2019.

“We sent the FDR to Australia, but because the FDR was badly damaged, there was a grey area in the decoded data. We had to find a facility with better quality, so we sent it to the US NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) for another readout,” he said.

The plane bound for Japan exploded at the end of NAIA runway 24 at around 8 p.m. Sunday. All eight onboard — six Filipino crew, and two foreign national passengers — did not survive the accident.

Because of the accident, CAAP on Monday grounded the entire fleet of Lionair Inc., while investigation is ongoing.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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