On 10 February 2011 Manx2 Flight 1700 departed Belfast (Northern Ireland) en route to Cork (Ireland) carrying ten passengers and two crew.  

The Swearingen Fairchild Metroliner III, a twin engine aircraft operated by Spain-based carrier Flightline, and owned by Airlada which leased the aircraft and crew to Manx 2, the ticket seller, came down during its third attempt to land at Cork Airport in thick fog.  The pilot and co-pilot as well as four passengers were tragically killed and other passengers were seriously injured.

Irwin Mitchell Aviation law were engaged to represent the family of the co-pilot, Andrew Cantle, shortly after the accident.   Andrew had only just qualified as a co-pilot and was only two weeks into his first job as a pilot, hence he was very inexperienced and very reliant on the captain to make the correct airmanship decisions.  

The final accident report into the crash published by Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit, revealed a catalogue of issues which led to the tragic chain of events, including:

  • Flightline contravened EU standards by failing to provide adequate oversight  for  the flight and failed to adequately train and check the captain.
  • Inappropriate crew rostering lead to the pairing of an inexperienced captain, who qualified just four days previously, with an inexperienced co-pilot who only had 19 hours of flight time with Flightline and had not completed his final training.
  • Contrary to regulations, the captain decided to make two unsuccessful approaches then the final (fatal) approach when visibility was below required minima. 
  • On the final approach the captain continued the descent below the minimum height in poor visibility and operated the engines in a prohibited manner, which caused the aircraft to crash inverted onto the ground.

The serious failings identified in the Final Report came as no surprise to the Irwin Mitchell aviation team.  Their analysis shortly after the accident confirmed that Andrew Cantle was blameless and that the accident was caused primarily by failings of Flightline and the captain of the aircraft.  

Based on this, in February 2012 Irwin Mitchell’s Aviation Law team initiated a legal action in Dublin against Flightline and Airlada on behalf of Andrew’s loved ones.

If you would like to speak in confidence to an expert regarding this accident, or any other aviation incident you were involved in, please contact a member of the aviation team on 0800 056 4110. The team will be able to advise you on the accident, the relevant law and the parties who may be liable.

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