Report out on EKAB fatal flight

The crash of a National First Aid Center (EKAB) helicopter on the island of Anafi near Santorini in June last year – which killed four crew members and a patient – had been due to the pilot’s diversion from the advised flight route and a lack of crucial lighting during the nighttime mission, according to the findings of a government investigation into the accident made public yesterday. The Agusta A109 had been lacking search lights and other safety equipment when it took off from Anafi for Rhodes in the early hours of June 17 last year, said the report by a specialist Transport Ministry committee. The report also noted that there was no reference to Anafi’s helipad in the national information manual for air navigation, adding that an inadequate assessment of the geography of the location probably also contributed to the crash. The helicopter wreckage was found below a hillcrest in Anafi’s center. Inadequate training of the helicopter crew and lighting on the ground, and crew members’ possible distraction by faulty instruments may also have been to blame, the report said.

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