Having covered this tragic event since day one for Swiss, German and international media, as well as specialized aviation newsletters (such as Air Safety Week) and being the author of a book about this issue I have to say that this program was a disguise for the community of investigative journalist. Apparently the hunt for ratings has also within CBC been reduced to the level of ancient Roman circus games. The sensationalism of the police video footage shown much to long would in civilized countries lead to drastic consequences for the responsible editors. I hope such consequences will be imposed on these editors as well. There was no need what so ever to include such scenes in the otherwise poorly done film. Mr. Juby apparently had have very bad advisers to leak such video images to the media and have them broadcasted. Don't get me wrong: being an investigative journalist myself with some 30years of doing (also awardwining) documentaries and reports I'm not talking about censorship.
The real "scandal", discovered in this film remain: this is that a cop was forced to alter his notes and was stopped to investigate further by a superior. This also will have to be reviewed by the respective political responsible individuals in Canada.
But unfortunately the film stops right there where the real investigation should have started. This is the question if the accumulation of such high amounts of magnesium (I'm missing the exact amounts claimed to be found and put into relation to the amount that may be found in all effected components - as magnesium is commonly used in the aviation industry for alls sorts of materials: such as composites, kapton-wire coating, furnishing of aluminium parts) in the construction materials of an aircraft could not have been regarded as "criminal" as it implies serious risks for the travelling public in case of an electrical induced fire behind closed panels and ceilings (as it was the case with SR111). This would have opened up a very interesting avenue in regards to those manufactures who produced such materials and the regulatory authorities who approved them for use on aircraft. Seem that poor Mr Juby and the editors of the 5th estate have not realized that their "findings" match the TSB findings. But the underlying problem is that an accident investigations is just looking for the cause(es) of an accident and not who will be held responsible for that in Court (as it is the case with any criminal investigation). Therefore it can only be stated from a today's point of view that it has been a mistake to take Mr. Juby off the case. It would have become a certainly interesting development if the RCMP would have run a full blown criminal investigation within the neighbour country USA and its FAA and manufactures of aircraft components, based on their findings. Though I doubt that this would have become reality, given the fact that such an investigation would have implied severe political disturbances with an almighty and powerful neighbour State.
This program is definitely not among the highlights of its award wining editorial board and those individuals who participated in this production. It is nothing else than a cheap flop in regards to its thesis, the argumentation and the presented proofs and it is a slap into the face of the 229 victims and their families for which an official excuse is already overdue.
Tim van Beveren
aviation safety editor
and independent journalist
The above letter is from the CBC website.
Tim van Beveren wrote the book Flug Swissair 111. Here is a link to a couple of chapters from that book.
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