Aviation body probes possible commonality in recent plane crashes

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By Devina Samaroo

Given three plane crashes in the past two months, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is taking several steps to determine what went wrong and if there is any correlation between the incidents.

GCAA Director General Egbert Fields told News Room during a telephone interview on Monday that he will soon be meeting with local airline operators to determine what went wrong in the three most recent plane crashes which have already claimed the lives of two local pilots.

“We recognize there have been three crashes and we are investigating all three at this time to see if there is any commonality. It is cause for concern and the Authority is looking at it very seriously and the meeting with the operators in the next two days to have a meeting with them. It is cause for concern as to what in the system may have broken down,” he explained.

The ASL plane crashed and landed in a bed of trees in the deep jungle of Region Eight

On Sunday, an Air Services Limited aircraft crashed in the deep jungle in Region Eight, claiming the life of its 41 year old Captain Imran Khan.

Up to press time, Field said his body is yet to arrive in Georgetown as it is difficult to transport the body from the crash site to the extraction point by foot.

“The body is still in the interior and they are trying to get the body to the extraction point, it’s a difficult terrain and they are trying to get the body to the extraction point. From the crash point to extraction point will take them between 6-7 hours of trekking with the body,” he said.

The plane was en route from Chi Chi to Mahdia where it was expected to arrive at 08:47 hours. However, at 09:08 hours an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) signal for the aircraft was identified as coming from an area west of Mahdia.

Actions by the Civil Aviation Authority as well as the Guyana Defence Force were immediately taken to conduct a reconnaissance of the area, where the crash site was observed and the lifeless body of the pilot was subsequently discovered. Field said an investigation has since been launched.

Last month, Captain Collin Martin, the Chief Pilot at Roraima Airways perished after his aircraft crashed on landing at Eteringbang, Cuyuni-Mazaruni.

Earlier this month, Captain Dominique Waddell of Wings Aviation Limited was left nursing injuries after aircraft he was piloting went down in the same area. Last evening, the government sent out a statement mandating the Aviation Authority to ramp up checks and inspections of aircraft and facilities following the third aircraft accident in less than two months.

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