Gov’t instructs GCAA to do more inspections of aircraft

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Government has mandated the local Civil Aviation Authority to ramp up checks and inspections of aircraft and facilities following the third aircraft accident in less than two months.

This is according to a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency in which Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon expressed condolences to the relatives and friends of Captain Imran Khan, a pilot, who perished on Sunday, after the Air Services Limited CESSNA 206 aircraft he was operating crashed in Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight). He was the only person on board.

The statement quoted the Minister saying “We have asked the Director of Civil Aviation for there to be more frequent levels of inspection of these aircraft, of the pilots and the facilities they use to ensure that there is a higher level of safety in these operations. We, as a small country, cannot continue to lose young men in the prime of their lives to accidents. We are calling on the Director to increase [the] level of investigation and oversight over all of the operators to ensure that the serviceability of these aircraft are checked, that the time and hours of the pilots, which they fly must also be checked and this must not just be a one off check but a regular check and also time and again, what we call ramp checks [random checks].”

The Ministry said information received states that the aircraft was en route from Chi Chi to Mahdia where it was expected to arrive at 0847 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.

Director-General of the GCAA, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Egbert Fields said that the body will be flown out from Mahdia this morning and an investigation has been launched to determine the circumstances surrounding the crash, the statement added.

On July 25, Captain Collin Martin, the Chief Pilot at Roraima Airways perished after his aircraft crashed on landing at Eteringbang, Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven). On August 8, Captain Dominique Waddell of Wings Aviation Limited was left nursing injuries after his single engine Cessna aircraft went down in the same area, while on a shuttling mission from Eteringbang to Ekereku.

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