Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Resnik Plane Crash 2015: Official 47-Page Report Released

November 12, 2018 - The final report of the fatal air crash at Resnik near Split Airport in June 2015, killing two people on board and permanently injuring a third passenger, has been released by Croatia's Air, Maritime and Railway Traffic Investigation Agency. 

More than three years after a tragic accident which killed two pilots of seaplane company European Coastal Airlines, and severely injured a third, the final official report into the causes and events leading up to the tragedy on June 25, 2015, was published on November 8, and an English-language version copy passed on to TCN today. 

The Lake-LA-4-200 aircraft, which was NOT part of the commercial seaplane fleet, crashed into the shallow waters of the sea at Resnik, shortly after take-off from Split Airport, with three people on board, having clipped a nearby building after the engine seemingly stalled. 

It is a story I have been following closely for some time now, and the final report is an official, very detailed report on the crash, which has primary conclusions for the crash, as well as secondary contributing factors, as well as a list of recommendations for the airline, the airport and the Croatian Civil Aviation Authority. 

"The investigation established the immediate causes of this accident – engine failure and inadequate pilot reaction in this situation. Detected contributory factors were omissions in the maintenance of the aircraft, the incompetence of the pilot to land on the water surface, insufficient knowledge of the aircraft type and company culture."

The unauthorised and unlogged flight in the company's documentation appears to have been a spontaneous act. Split Airport had requested that the plane be moved from its current position at the airport. no flight was necessary. According to the final report, three ECA pilots decided to take the plane for a quick flight instead, having to jump-start the engine with cables to get it started. 

Shortly after takeoff, the engine stalled, which the report attributes largely to the fact that there was a large amount of dirt in the fuel tank. The fuel quality indicator in the main tank had also completely eroded. According to available documentation, the main tank was last inspected for dirt and leaks on July 10, 2014, almost a year before the fatal flight. The plane flew for just 8 hours over the intervening 11 months, according to the official report. 

The report also concluded that human factors played a significant factor in the crash. Although all three were pilots, the pilot for the flight did not have experience of landing on water, nor authority to do so, hence probably the decision to try and return to Split Airport, which was too far away. As there was no flight recorder on board and the only survivor has no recollection of what happened (according to the report), it is impossible to know the final moments on board, but the report states that perhaps a decision to avoid procedures after an emergency landing might have played a part in the decision to try and return to the airport. The report also concludes that the pilot's lack of familiarity with this type of aircraft could have been a factor. 

The report also cites the ECA 'company culture' in the secondary factors. ECA's head office was at Resnik, very close both to the airport and scene of the crash. It would be inconceivable that nobody from the head office would not have noticed the flight, and so the report concludes that even though the flight was unauthorised. the pilots seemed not to be worried about censure from their superiors. 

In the report's conclusions, it states that the flight was approved by control, but that ECA was not informed of the flight. Weather conditions were favourable. 

If any media is interested in reading the report, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject line Resnik.




Saturday, 16 December 2017

Split Airport Expansion: Largest Investment in Dalmatia Today

How are things moving along at Split Airport?