Airline pilot organisations have expressed their shock at the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash on 24 March – but also their distress that international standards for investigation and the release of information are not being followed.

The European Cockpit Association (ECA) says it accepts that the information released suggests the co-pilot probably acted deliberately to destroy the aircraft, but maintains that the failure to respect agreed accident investigation protocols is damaging the process of investigation itself and endangering aviation safety.

In France, a judicial prosecutor always works in parallel with air accident investigators to assess evidence at a crash site. The expert accident investigator – in this case the French BEA – is the junior partner in the early stages of the task, and must await the judiciary’s assessment and securing of the evidence. Lacking aviation expertise, the prosecutor’s sole task is to determine who is to blame and whether criminal prosecution is appropriate, while the BEA’s sole task is to determine the cause of the crash so as to prevent a recurrence.

However, this mixing of roles is contrary to the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s standards and recommended practices for accident investigation set down in Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention.

Read the full article via ANALYSIS: Germanwings crash accident investigation – 3/31/2015 – Flight Global.