Plenty of blame to go around in Iran air disaster

Regarding the recent news about the accidental downing of the Ukraine airlines passenger flight, a TV consultant said that airline disasters are not generally due to single cause but to series of failures any one of which, if avoided, could have prevented the disaster. I agree with that. But in this case, the only failure noted was the error of the one who fired the missile. In fact there were many other failures, to name a couple:

1. It was known that an Iranian official had been killed. Iran was likely to retaliate in some way. Iran and Iraq could be reasonably be expected to become a war zone in short order, with lots of nervous people dropping and firing lethal objects at blips on their radar screens. Ukraine, the airline, and Iran could have suspended all civilian air traffic in the area. Didn’t happen.

2; There could have been effective communication between air defenses and the control tower at the airport. Didn’t happen.

The article ended with “The man responsible was to be court-martialed.”

We are all eager to blame the poor schmuck who was left alone in the dark to make the fatal decision. If, and only if he was given a protocol to guide his decision, and he failed to follow it, then he deserves the blame.

But he’s not the only one.

Charles DeBruler


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