About flight safety and accident investigation in Portugal
To me one of the most important part in aviation is the incident and accident investigation and report. Since I started my ATPL lessons that I started to read the reports of the Portuguese Aircraft Accident Prevention and Investigation Group (GPIAA) to learn with others mistakes. It's general knowledge that most of the incidents or accidents with aircraft result from human error or at least the human factor is a very important contributory factor to maintain the chain of events witch lead to the accident.
If all this is so important then it really is necessary that the bureau of investigation works the best way possible and with the least outside interference in order to conduct the investigations fast and accurate.
In order to keep this interests in flight safety and obtaining the truth about the events it's very important that investigators have at first a academical formation about the investigated subject. Normally in aviation are pilots engineers technicians manufacturers operators and others. Here in the Southwest corner of Europe the most skillful persons to the job are by far Air Force officers in active or retired whom normally get invited when retired to work as Lead Investigators in the GPIAA. These men have the field experience due to their past in the Air Force Nato EU, etc. and can with this continue to justify the costs of their formation when they were Air Force operatives problem is that now they receive the payment of their retire monthly and the new rules for public employees forbid the accumulation of retire payments and payments as a public worker. Soon as this law was approved the entire GPIAA collapsed. The composition of the Group was in total made by retired Air Force Officers and so since then the investigations are stopped this stop affects about 11 investigations of 2011 events and all events of 2012. The Director of GPIAA stated that there are no conditions to continue with investigations but no actions were taken by the Government to find a solution and the Director itself requested to leave maintaining functions until a new board of directors take place.
Last year the number of accidents with fatal victims increased and other accidents an incidents increased as well so there is a need to investigate those events and find causes in order to propose solutions to prevent new happenings like those.