What follows is purely speculation - using hindsight, a degree of guesswork and
factors that were not considered directly relevant by the accident enquiry.
Given the great experience of the crew it is extremely difficult to accept that the
Captain acted in an irresponsible or cavalier way - he had flown the route 90 times
in the last year and had just passed an instrument landing check. However planes
just don't fly into hills, and the weather seems to have been a major factor.
Logically, the crew must have been deceived as to their exact location, and theories
for this are reasonably easy to construct. However there is a much wider aspect
which the enquiry considered at length but did think relevant to the actual accident
- how could an airliner on a short domestic flight between two local airports, be
flying on the limits of operating procedure where a matter of seconds would mean
life or death to fare paying passengers?
- and why was this permitted when the authorities knew these bad weather flights
were taking place?
Given that the plane was in the air that day, there are three more questions:
- given the visibility was forecast at a minimum of one mile at 600 feet, why did
the crew not see the coastline and avoid it.
- how could an experienced crew have been misled into flying the plane into that
- what could possibly have persuaded an experienced pilot, described as 'meticulous'
to take this course of action when only hours before he had declined to attempt the
same airfield because of the reduced visibility.