IALPA response to RTE Prime Time program regarding the CHC SAR accident off the coast of Co. Mayo

From: RTE Prime Time
Date: 11 July 2017 at 18:53:48 GMT+2
To: “press@ialpa.net” <press@ialpa.net>
Subject: Prime Time Query


I am a reporter with RTE’s Prime Time programme. I’m working on a report related to prior knowledge of safety concerns that may have contributed to the loss of Rescue 116. We hope to broadcast this report on Thursday July 13.

Specifically, I understand that pilots had raised a red flag about the absence of Black Rock from the EGPWS on board the Coast Guard helicopters in 2013.  I also have evidence that CHC management and the Irish Aviation Authority were made aware that there were issues with false obstacles in that system’s database in the year prior to the Rescue 116 accident.

I’d be obliged if you could respond to the following queries by close for business tomorrow.


  • Was IALPA aware that the omission of Black Rock Island from the EGPWS had been flagged?
  • Is IALPA aware of any other issues relating to the safety and navigational systems on board the Coast Guard helicopters?
  • Is IALPA satisfied that all safety issues raised by its members in the Coast Guard are dealt with satisfactorily?


I understand that the Irish Aviation Authority provides electronic terrain and obstacle data to stakeholders, such as GPS and Flight Management System database suppliers. Is IALPA concerned that this data appears to have been incomplete and inaccurate?

I understand that the IAA and the Department of Transport is currently conducting a review of the safety oversight structure for helicopter operations in Ireland that involve both State and civil aviation functions in order to ensure that there are no gaps in the oversight process. Does IALPA believe that there are gaps in the regulation and oversight of Search and Rescue Services in Ireland?

I can be contacted on xxxxxxx if you have any queries.

Best regards,

Katie Hannon
RTE Correspondent



Statement of the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA).

Wednesday 12 July 2017

IALPA Response to RTE questions of 11 July 2017

The “Rescue 116” accident – in which 4 crew members sadly lost their lives – is the subject of an investigation under Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Until this Annex 13 investigation is complete we believe it is inappropriate for us to comment on the possible contributing factors giving rise to this accident. We advise all licence holders, such as pilots, winch crew and engineers, to cooperate fully with the investigation.

Separately from the “Rescue 116” accident and its ongoing Annex 13 investigation, the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA) has raised concerns with successive Ministers for Transport on the effectiveness of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) in fulfilling its Safety Regulatory and Oversight obligations.

The concerns raised by IALPA with successive Ministers for Transport are germane to the questions and issues you have raised in your e-mail note.


Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association,
Corballis Park,
Dublin Airport.