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Investigation scope

Serafina Silaitoga
Saturday, March 03, 2018

CAREER experience and other necessary information regarding Pacific Flying School instructor Iliesa Tawalo and trainee pilot Merelesita Lutu will be part of investigations, says air accident investigator Andrew McGregor.

At a press conference yesterday in Labasa, Mr McGregor was asked about the international requirement or experience needed for a pilot to meet before becoming an instructor.

"I can't divulge all details, but those are some information I will be looking at as part of this investigation," he said.

"So I am unable to comment further on that question."

Mr McGregor said his investigating team would need to collect as much materials as possible from the crash site to help with investigations.

"It is very difficult to explain the procedures of investigations in an interview because one of the most important things we need to obtain is the pieces of wreckage to analyse and assess it," he said.

Mr McGregor commended the contribution of villagers who helped the police, military and firefighters with the search for the wreckage.

"I was quite impressed with the level of help and resources available," he said.

"It shows the spirit of a true Fijian style."

The adverse weather has also affected his plans to inspect the accident site.

"I have been to the site today, flying by helicopter, but we weren't able to access or see the wreck because of the bad weather and cloud covering the crash site," Mr McGregor said.

"I could not make an assessment today. The weather stopped us, but we will try to access the wreckage. Unfortunately the crash occurred in a rugged area and difficult to remove.

"I don't know how long this investigation will take so I won't comment any further," he added.

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