January 28, 2023

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Pilots Jailed for runway accident with a fire truck in Peru

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Aircraft collision with Fire fighting truck at Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima, Peru

The global body for airline pilots, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations, (IFALPA), has launched a very strong protest against the arrest and incarceration of the two pilots that operated the A320neo that was hit by a firetruck on the runway.

The airplane was approaching V1 at a taxiway intersection at the Jorge Chavez International Airport when a firetruck taking part in a drill pulled onto the runway and hit the right landing gear and engine on the aircraft.

The accident claimed the lives of two aerodrome firefighters, and severely injured the third, but didn’t arm the pilots nor was there any damage to the aircraft.

Immediately the police arrived at the scene, the two pilots were arrested and detained in the police cell for two days.

The union in its strongly worded petition condemned in its entirety the arrest and onward detention of the pilots saying the action violated all manners of protocols and conventions regarding accident investigations in the air transport industry.

The global body totally condemned the arrest and detention in its petition thus, “In no circumstances is it appropriate to question the flight crew of LATAM 2213 in the immediate aftermath of any accident or incident until they have been professionally evaluated by qualified medical personnel,” the pilots body argued.

The pilots’ association explained the rationale for the medical evaluation of the pilots as demanded that, “the evaluation is to help determine their mental and physical fitness to contribute accurate information to investigators”

On a fateful day, the pilots were approaching V1 at a taxiway intersection when a firetruck taking part in a drill pulled onto the runway and hit the right landing gear and engine on the aircraft.

The plane’s fuel tank was breached and caught fire but other firefighters behind the one that hit the plane quickly brought it under control.

The firetrucks were reportedly testing response times to a new runway that will open in January 2023, and it had been alleged they did not have clearance to enter the runway.

The runway incursion by the firetruck caused the intersection of an aircraft duly given clearance to land when a firetruck taking part in a drill pulled onto the runway and hit the right landing gear and engine on the aircraft.

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