Almost 26 years after the crash there are still too little undisputed facts and too much speculation and frustration.
December 21st, 1992. Martinair flight MP495 crashes at the airport of Faro, Portugal while the crew attempts to land in bad weather conditions. The DC10, PH-MBN “Anthony Ruys”, is owned by the Royal Netherlands Air Force and is destined to be converted into a KDC-10.
As result of the crash 54 passengers and 2 flight attendants die. Over 200 occupants sustain physical injuries.
The concept report, expected before the summer of 2016, by the independent investigators -appointed by the Court of The Hague- remains classified up till now.
According to an article in a Dutch newspaper in December 2017, the claimants’s investigators do not agree with the findings in this report and they prepared a ‘counter report’ to be submitted to the court.
As a consequence of the sudden demise in October 2017 of Mr. Koeleman, the original lead council for the claimants, Lawyers Office Beer (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) took over the court cases in December 2017. The transfer of these cases will cause delay.
A verdict of the court in The Hague is said to be expected in 2018.
Causes of the crash (deficient -Dutch- investigation up to 2011)
The day after the crash Martin Schroeder (founder and CEO of Martinair) held a press conference together with the Dutch Minister of Transport. In this press conference Mr Schroder stated that an unexpected windshear was the cause of the crash. Consequences of an unexpected windshear are diminished responsibility and liability for Martinair.
Despite the findings in the official Portuguese Investigation report, the ‘unexpected windshear theory’ remained the dominant Dutch view.
The public doubts and questions, as raised by the passengers on the flight, on the crash and its causes never seemed to be taken seriously.
This partial Dutch view is sustained by the then lack of independent crash investigation in The Netherlands.
NB The American NTSB also seems to doubt the unexpected windshear theory in it’s letter; annex to the official Portuguese Investigation Report.
New analysis of the facts and court cases
In February 2011 (updated December 2012), over 18 years after the plane crash, an investigation by Mr. Harry Horlings of AvioConsult is published. This investigation strengthens in my opinion the outcome of the official Portuguese report, in which the pilots and their actions and non-actions are chiefly regarded as leading to the crash.
In January 2018 AvioConsult published a detailed analysis on the last 80 seconds of Flight MP495.
Despite, or perhaps just because of, the court cases against Martinair and the State of The Netherlands, that were started end of 2012 on basis of above mentioned analysis, there were no public reactions regarding content and/or refutations to the ‘Investigation Horlings’.
In July 2015 the court in The Hague appointed three non-Dutch investigators to look into this case. The concept of their report was expected before the summer of 2016.
Hope was that the outcome of this independent investigation and court cases would bring more clarity and peace of mind.
Consequences (too little attention for)
Partly thanks to the aftermath of the crash of EL Al flight 1862 in Amsterdam, three months earlier, there is attention for possible psycho trauma, as PTSD, and for mourning.
For the practical and long term real life consequences for surviving occupants and family members there is little to no attention.
Because the people concerned live scattered all over The Netherlands, and even in other countries, there is too little awareness for and recognition of the real impact of the crash.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, especially Decelaration Injury, can easily be overlooked and consequences such as Mental Fatigue neglected.
Possible co-existence of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder interferes with the process of proper diagnosis and treatment.
Remarks in English by the web site author, related to investigation report topics:
• Meteorological flight preparation
• Experience on DC-10 of pilots
• Fire and alarm before the crash
• Premature power reduction
• Survivability of the crash
• Book in English by the web site author
• Wikipedia English
• Film images of wreckage of PH-MBN on YouTube, 3:43
• animation / reconstruction of the incorrect approach and subsequent crash of the DC-10 Anthony Ruys
• PortugalResident January 20, 2016: ‘Plane…never should have left Amsterdam’
For questions, remarks and/or suggestions please contact
Cor tenHove via cortenhove -at- outlook.com .