Swiss aviation agency probed after vintage aircraft crash

The Ju-52 crash in 2018 left 20 people dead. Keystone

An investigation has been opened into the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) following a fatal pleasure flight crash two years’ ago. The probe was initiated following complaints from accident investigators.

This content was published on August 9, 2020 - 16:50

The exact nature of the criticism has not been disclosed, but the Swiss transport ministry told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper that the probe would look at “systematic aspects of supervision”. The Netherlands Aerospace Centre has been called in to examine FOCA, with the findings expected to be ready by spring 2021.

The newspaper report of the investigation was confirmed to the Keystone-SDA.

It follows the crash of a vintage Ju-52 aircraft in the Swiss Alps in 2018 that left 20 people dead. A report into that accident is expected to be ready this October.

The remaining vintage aircraft of the Ju-Air pleasure flight company were initially cleared to fly shortly after the crash – with conditions attached. But the fleet was grounded the following year.

This is not the first time that the activities of FOCA have been called into question. In 2003, a Dutch report concluded that the aviation agency had let standards slip, which resulted in a re-organisational shake-up.

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