Ill-fated Greek Falcon Destined for Middle East
The Greek Falcon 900 in which seven people were killed during a series of violent oscillations on Sept. 14, 1999, is destined to be delivered in an airworthy condition to an unidentified Middle East customer for executive transportation, according to Jean-Pierre Sauval, general manager of Transairco, the Geneva-based service center that is said to be repairing the trijet.
Sauval and Transairco marketing support manager Marc Grangier told AIN that the Hellenic Air Force sold the damaged business jet, which is now in Transairco’s hangar, to an “American trading company” that Transairco would not name (as it is not policy to reveal customers’ identities). That American company, in turn, sold the aircraft to a customer in the Middle East.
The sales contract specifies that the airplane is to be delivered in airworthy condition and “according to customer’s specifications” in November. At one time, it was believed that the American company told the Greek Air Force it was buying the Falcon for spares only. However, as the current owner of the aircraft, that company has asked Transairco to bring it back to life, “which is feasible and will be done,” Sauval said.
The exact nature of the damage and the required repairs were not disclosed, but structural repairs, especially of Falcons, are one of Transairco’s specialities.
Meanwhile, the pilot of that fateful flight, Giannos Kranidiotis, is appealing a manslaughter conviction arising from the accident. He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. Kranidiotis’ lawyer contends that the evidence used for conviction was based on reports by investigating committees set up in complete contrast to European Commission directives on impartial accident investigations. Separately, Greek administrative court ruled in favor of the pilots on an appeal to reverse their grounding by the Greek Civil Aviation director.
In similar news, the family of Olympic Airways engineer Michael Papadopoulos, killed in the Falcon accident, is suing Honeywell, Dassault Aviation and Olympic Airways for e7.5 million. The trial is set to begin on May 22. –T.S./T.B.ￌ