The Board of Inquiry extends its profound sympathy to the families and friends of the passengers and crew who lost their lives in the Helderberg accident.
The Board believes that all concerned would wish to join it in this expression of gratitude to the Mauritian, French, United States and Australian authorities (named in paragraph 1.15 page below) for their humanitarian response and participation in the search and rescue operations.
The Board places on record its appreciation of the outstanding services of Mr R W van Zyl, the Director of Aviation Safety in the Chief Directorate of Civil Aviation, Department of Transport, and of his technical investlgation team, consisting of himself, Mr P de Klerk, Capt R Downes and Mr B Jordaan. In particular, Mr van Zyl's direction of the underwater search is to be highly commended. That search, known as Operation Resolve, was carried out at depths of the order of 4,5 km, and represents a remarkable and pioneering technological achievement.
The Board also wishes to record its appreciation of the valuable guidance and information given by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives who assisted the technical investigation team and who attended the public hearings. They were Messrs Harold Donner, Richard Hill, and Wes Slifer.