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Mar 20, 2020

Internal Investigation Ongoing into Fatal B.D.F. Helicopter Incident

John Borland

We’ve been reporting on the latest reports on the B.D.F.’s fatal helicopter crash.  The Honduran Air Force conducted the first investigation and has shared their findings. The Civil Aviation Department and the BELL Company published theirs on Wednesday. But the investigation is still ongoing with some final reports to be published in the coming weeks, including one that looks at the internal mechanisms involved in the incident. According to the investigative team, that report is to be completed in twenty-eight days and so the first update should be ready by next week. The investigators say that a number of personnel are being interviewed, including those who were involved in the operation, such as JIOC, B.D.F. Special Forces, police and others, who are not directly involved with the mission. Here’s how they explained it.

 

Admiral John Borland, Chief of Defense Staff

“The internal investigation will not be treated like the remainder of these reports where it will not be made public in its entirety because of the factors that will affect operational safety and security. So, we will have to determine how we are going to approach disclosure of information from that report. As you all know, the purpose of that report as opposed to it being merely a court of inquiry, where it the court of inquiry looks to examine systems and procedures with the aim of putting in corrective measures to prevent such reoccurrence. This report goes far deeper than that where it is an investigation as opposed to just a court of inquiry or a commission of inquiry. Where as we said in our opening statement that we will look at any evidence that suggest negligence, I think we even use the term dereliction of duty, and if that surfaces then we will have to order separate lines of investigations into these situations that will lead to people being held accountable for their actions, in the case of it being negligence. And that again will need more time. But that doesn’t affect the timeline for the internal investigation to be concluded. We have not directed that anyone be held responsible for breeches of discipline, or breech of operational procedures, not yet. But we do know that there are a number of people who have information out there who have information to offer and the investigative team are highly encouraged to find these people; people who are current serving member of the force; people who are retired who know how air operations are supposed to be conducted. And so I would want to say that this investigation is being done without any prejudice or impartiality and not at all intended to intimidate anyone or to put anyone under pressure or preclude anyone from coming forward to volunteer information that would help the investigation that ultimately help us to fix a process or a system that may be broken.”


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