Falcon jet trial to start today

The two pilots of the government Falcon jet on which seven people, including Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, were killed in a freak accident over two years ago will be tried for manslaughter today along with eight Olympic Airways maintenance officials and mechanics. Captain Yiannis Androulakis and his co-pilot, Grigoris Sinekoglou, managed to land the executive jet safely in Bucharest after it went into a sudden series of dives and climbs. But Kranidiotis – who had been to pay an official visit to Romania – his son and five journalists and diplomats died after being thrown about the cabin. They had not been wearing seat belts. A report by aviation experts attributed the accident to pilot error and poor aircraft maintenance. The 45-page report found that the pitch-feel controls had been long out of order, as well as other height controls, known as the Arthur «Q» feel unit. The report blamed the pilots for erroneous use of the autopilot, and failing to switch on the sign to fasten seat belts.

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