Aircraft accident in the Susten area – statement by skyguide on the information given by the military examining magistrate
Geneva, 6 September 2016. The world of military aviation is one big community. The air force has had very close technical and personal relationships with skyguide, the air navigation service provider, and all the other organisations involved for many years. As a result, the employees of skyguide have been very shocked by the air accident in the Susten area and they also feel great sorrow over the death of the pilot of the F/A-18. Our thoughts at this time are with the pilot’s family and friends.
Today the military examining magistrate issued an interim report with information about the course of events that led up to the accident. This is the first reliable, official information that has been made available to all the parties involved, including skyguide. Until now, skyguide has had no access to the system data, because immediately after the accident the military police confiscated all the recordings for the purposes of the investigation and put them under lock and key.
The military examining magistrate today said that the air navigation service allocated the pilot an altitude below the lowest safe height. The magistrate will now explain how he has come to this conclusion and what role it played in the entire course of events.
It seems that the actions of the air navigation service have contributed to the accident in the Susten area. There are no words to express our sorrow over this. We cannot undo what has been done, but we can work together with everyone involved to learn the lessons from this accident and to improve the safety of military aviation even further.
Skyguide takes its responsibilities very seriously. It will make every effort to help the military air accident investigation team. Skyguide has also launched its own internal investigation on the basis of the information we have and the data about the flight, which we hope the examining magistrate will release.
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Skyguide provides air navigation services for Switzerland and certain adjacent parts of neighbouring countries. With its 1,500 employees at 14 locations in Switzerland, the company guides some 1.2 million civil and military flights a year safely and efficiently through Europe’s busiest airspace. Skyguide is well integrated into the international air navigation services community and, with its innovative and customer-minded solutions, helps enhance Switzerland’s appeal as a place to live, work and do business. The company is majority- owned by the Swiss Confederation and has its headquarters in Geneva.