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TSB’s role in the investigation of Ukrainian Airlines flight 752

Ottawa, Ontario, 13 January 2020 – Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) Chair Kathy Fox today provided an update on the TSB’s role in the investigation of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.

The TSB will also deploy a second team of investigators who specialize in aircraft recorder download and analysis once we confirm where and when this activity will take place.

Since learning of the accident, the TSB has been in direct contact with the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Given the high number of Canadian fatalities, the TSB has confirmed its role as an expert and accepted Iran’s invitation to attend the accident site as entitled in Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Two TSB air accident investigators left Canada on Friday evening and, over the weekend, met up with members of the Canadian consular team in Turkey. They have since obtained visas to travel to Iran and have departed for Tehran, along with members of Canada’s Consular team. Additionally, the TSB will also deploy a second team of investigators with expertise in aircraft recorder download and analysis, once the time and place that this activity will take place is confirmed.

“As 57 of the passengers who died in this tragedy were Canadian, it is our hope that the TSB will be allowed to bring more of its expertise to a thorough and transparent investigation,” said Kathy Fox. “The TSB is seen as a world leader, and we have participated in foreign investigations for almost 30 years. […] As an independent accident investigation agency, we will also collaborate with the other international investigation authorities with whom we have long-standing and well-developed relationships—including those from France, Sweden, the UK and the US, as well as Ukraine.”

Aviation accident and incident investigations are governed by Annex 13 to the Convention of International Civil Aviation. As the “State of Occurrence”, the Islamic Republic of Iran and, specifically, its Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), has the right to lead the safety investigation. The role of states with a special interest by virtue of fatalities, serious injuries or other direct interests, which includes Canada, is also similarly prescribed. As the lead investigation agency, the Iranian AAIB is also responsible for communicating information about the progress and results of the investigation.

“The purpose of an ICAO Annex 13 safety investigation is to find all causal and contributing factors to an accident, without attributing blame or civil or criminal liability, to address safety deficiencies, and prevent similar accidents from happening again,” said Kathy Fox. “Experience has shown that a thorough safety-focused investigation offers the best chance of confirming what really happened and providing the answers that everyone is asking for, particularly for the families who lost so much.”

See the backgrounder on foreign air occurrence investigations for more information.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-360-4376