GPIAAF, the office that investigates airline accidents, has discovered “relevant” and “systematic” failings in the safety management of aircraft flying under the TAP banner.
The planes are operated by White Airways, explain reports.
Problems detected followed in incident last summer on a flight from Lisbon to Fez (Morocco) with 58 passengers on board in which the co-pilot was left in charge, and he was still undergoing training.
The incident highlighted White Airways’ lack of a full complement of pilots – and bearing in mind the co-pilot’s actions led to the tail-end of the plane hitting the runway when it landed, it also threw up failings when it came to in-house training.
Arguably even worse, even after hitting the runway with the tail-end, the plane completed its schedule with a return flight to Lisbon from Fez. GPIAAF found this decision “wrong” (as flight complications could have transpired) and one that showed “excessive confidence”.
Investigators concluded their highly critical report with five recommendations for White Airways as well as recommendations for ANAC, Portugal’s civil aviation authority.
ANAC was accused of several “weaknesses” when it came to supervision of the company. “Weaknesses that extended from the evaluation of pilot training and management, to the supervision of the ATR-72 fleet of (short-hop) planes and the control of risk in these planes”.