Crossair Executives Indicted for Homicide by Neglect

 - February 6, 2008, 10:42 AM

A Swiss federal prosecutor indicted six executives of the former regional airline Crossair for homicide and injuries by neglect. The charges stem from the crash of an Avro RJ100 on Nov. 24, 2001, during final approach to Zurich Airport in which 24 of the 33 occupants died. In its report published in early 2004, the Swiss air accident investigation bureau BFU concluded that the accident resulted primarily from pilot error, but it also criticized Crossair for its crew selection and management policy. The captain’s record contained several blemishes and the flight’s young and inexperienced first officer had a reputation for lack of assertiveness.

In his release, the prosecutor revealed only the initials of the six indicted executives, but the local press didn’t hesitate to connect three pairs of initials with well known members of Crossair management: founder Moritz Suter, CEO Andre Dose and flight operations chief Thomas Brandt, and several dailies posted headlines boldly affirming that Suter and Dose where indeed indicted.