Ten in the dock for fatal Falcon accident

The pilot and co-pilot of a government executive jet and eight Olympic Airways technicians went on trial yesterday in connection with a freak accident in 1999 that killed seven people over Romania. Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kraniditios and his 23-year-old son were among those killed when the Falcon 900 suddenly began to dip and soar, killing or seriously injuring anyone not wearing a seatbelt. The plane landed safely. The 10 face charges of manslaughter and other misdemeanors. An investigation found problems with the automatic pilot but also that the Olympic Airways pilot and co-pilot had been negligent in their handling of the aircraft, including a failure to tell the passengers to fasten their seatbelts. The court rejected an Olympic Airways appeal for a delay, following Olympic’s filing suit against plane manufacturer Dassault on charges of disturbing flight safety.