Swiss firm accepts air crash blame

The incident involved a Russian passenger belonging to a Bashkir airline company and a DHL cargo plane.

An NTV correspondent in Switzerland, for the release of a report on the case, said that although the company had accepted liability, no individual was blamed for the crash.

Alan Rossier, the general director of Skyguide, said that the investigating commission did not try to identify individuals responsible for the accident. He said that would be up to the courts.

However, he said that as a director of the company he takes full responsibility for the operation of his team.

On the issue of compensation he said management is inclined to settle the matter of compensation outside the courts.

Skyguide held a press conference soon after the Commission that investigated the cause of the accident announced its findings in Germany.

According to the Commission’s findings, the Russian plane received instructions far too late to descend.

Another NTV correspondent said the commission’s findings were contained in a 130 page report.

The main contributing factor towards the accident was identified as a traffic controller realising too late that both planes were flying at the same height.

When he did notice, he issued a wrong instruction the Russian pilots – to drop in height.

At that moment the automatic collision avoidance instrumentation on the Russian plane issued a command to immediately climb.

However, six seconds later the traffic controller repeated his instruction demanding that the plane immediately drop its height and by so doing gave wrong indication of where the danger was.

The pilots followed the controller’s instructions, trusting him more than the instruments. That trust was also identified as a factor contributing to the tragedy.

Another contributing factor was the fact that at the time there was only one controller on duty in Zurich, not two as was required as a minimum.

Moreover, one of the radars was not functioning at the time as it was being serviced, something the controller was not aware of.

The telephone line was also down. And the reserved line was defective.

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