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Kenya Airways, Post-Inquest Press Release

09 March 2012

The family of Anthony Mitchell and Stuart Claisse would like to thank HM coroner, Mr Fisher, for his handling of the inquest into the death of Anthony and Stuart.

This was a tragic accident and one which could have been avoided. The accident was caused by a shocking sequence of errors: the pilots failing to scan their instruments, failing to recognise that they had not engaged the autopilot and failing to follow the airline's standard operating procedure - all similar shortcomings to those identified in their training. This all culminated in the pilots failing to operate as a team. No failure was more worrying than the unfortunate pairing of two pilots that were polar opposites in character; one headstrong and domineering, the other weak and timid.

It is alarming that Kenya Airways, and indeed all airlines, have no mechanism in place to prevent this kind of flight deck pairing. Indeed, in the disaster of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET409, which occurred within only three years of this accident and involved the same Boeing aircraft type (737-800), similar piloting and pairing issues have also been noted, again with tragic consequences. Action needs to be taken to remedy this.

We hope that some of the coroner's findings during his inquiry and the recommendations he has made will go some way to improving air safety and the families hope that something good will come of their loss.

We now request that the family are left alone to deal with matters privately.

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