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Aurigny ice flight was captain's call

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A SERIES of events that led to an Aurigny flight being forced to re-route in freezing conditions 'could have been avoided', an investigation has found.

The Manchester to Guernsey flight on 4 March 2016 had to divert to East Midlands Airport after ice contamination made the aircraft temporarily difficult to control.

The ATR aircraft, registration G-COBO, was flown to Manchester from Guernsey and remained on the ground for more than an hour while it was snowing and the temperature was zero.

Despite these conditions, the captain opted not to de-ice the aircraft prior to departure.

A report by the Air Accident Investigation Branch concluded that the incident could have been prevented had the aircraft been de-iced.

'The investigation concluded that ice contamination affected the tailplane and caused pitch control difficulty after the aircraft rotated, on departure,' it said.

'The evidence indicated that this would have been avoided if the aircraft had been de-iced and then inspected carefully before flight.

'The commander optimistically thought that lying snow would blow off the aircraft before rotation; an assessment that was flawed and a possible reflection on the training the pilots had received for such winter conditions.

'The operator has recognised that recurrent winter training for pilots may have been over-reliant on self-study and has taken remedial action.'

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