The Council of State has ordered the Ministry of Defense and the civil aviation authority to compensate the family of a soldier who died in a plane crash over 20 years ago, El Espectador reported Thursday.
Ricardo Aldana Medina, a lieutenant in the Colombian Air Force, perished along with the 12 passengers and three crew members on board, when a plane he was piloting crashed in Quibdo, capital of Choco department, on November 18, 1990.
The Council of State has condemned the state institutions for “negligence,” finding that the equipment of the airport control tower was in an unusable state.
“It is evident that Civil Aeronautics had a binding commitment to provide the necessary services to ensure the safety and efficiency of air transport,” said a statement, adding that the poor state of communication equipment demonstrates that they clearly “failed that obligation.”
The Council of State also holds the Ministry of Defense culpable, given the fact that it was “one of their agents who caused the plane crash.”
The pilot, FAC Captain Diego Salgado Garcia, was flying below the minimum height standards set by the authorities and was found further at fault for “ignoring, without justification, the procedures required to fly the plane,” whereby he did not activate specific equipment that the adverse weather conditions required.
According to Radio Nacional de Colombia, Medina’s family will receive $57,000 in compensation but as yet there is no information regarding any potential compensation packages for the families of the remaining passengers who perished.