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Wrongly accused engineer supports TAIC criticism

July 6, 2006

Wrongly accused aircraft engineer supports Air Fiordland CEO regarding TAIC

One of the two aircraft maintenance engineers wrongly accused by TAIC in February 2002 of causing a helicopter accident and eventually exonerated earlier this year, Mark Saunders said he fully sympathised with the Chief Executive of Air Fiordland who criticised TAIC’s investigation of an accident involving one of his aircraft.

“TAIC’s process excludes those who have the knowledge and experience to assist. The process in my case was superficial and involved a so-called analysis by an investigator whose background was that of a pilot and had little or no engineering experience. He jumped to an early conclusion and nothing was able to unseat that conclusion until a re-investigation occurred. This has put me, my family and company through years of living hell and in the meanwhile air safety was compromised as the real cause was unknown.”

Mr Saunders said that if he had made a mistake he would have acknowledged it and expected that generally that would be the standard within the industry.

“TAIC’s attitude on the other hand is one of arrogance and seeming contempt for those within the industry, which means that alternative viewpoints and observations are rejected out of hand.

“I am aware that Russell Baker has obviously many years of experience. I am of the view that he could and his pilots would add great value to any investigation.”

Mr Saunders said he supported AIA’s call for changes to be made in TAIC.


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