It is the clear that the causes of what happened on July 9 at Irkutsk airport cannot be fully explained by a verdict simply of ‘pilot error’. Indeed, some members of the Committee share this view, as the existence of a ‘dissenting opinion’ shows. Nonetheless, the IAC has preferred the standard version of events that is convenient for it.
Such a version is convenient (for the IAC) because it says nothing about the role in the catastrophe of either the airport runway or the construction of the aircraft. This situation has come about because responsibility for their safe use lies not only with the airline, the aviation equipment manufacturer or the airport administration, but also with the IAC, as the state authority authorized to issue airworthiness and airport operating certificates [А310, Cert. №15-310, dated 25.10.91; Irkutsk, Cert.№ 45].
Any situation where one and the same body declares something safe to use and then conducts an investigation with findings that could lead to the conclusion that the object is not safe, is irregular and unethical. In addition, this cannot fail to reduce confidence in the investigation results.
In international economic and legal practice, a situation where one and the same organization is entrusted with the functions of an executive and investigative body is simply unacceptable! Back in July this year, the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation cast doubt on the effectiveness of this air accident investigation format. Moreover, on July 14th, the Council adopted an official resolution, № 282-SF [282-СФ], recommending that the Russian government ‘consider the appropriateness of transferring the functions of air accident investigation to an independent body’, removing them from the purview of the IAC.