Army helicopter crash: ‘Read out’ of black box next month


Guyana’s civil aviation authority will hold a “read out” of the black box from the Army helicopter that crashed last December near the border with Venezuela, Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo said Thursday afternoon.

“At that time we will find out what took place in the helicopter,” Dr Jagdeo, also General Secretary of the PPP, said at a press conference at his party’s Freedom House headquarters in Georgetown.

The black box, which records voices from the cockpit and flight parameters such as airspeed, altitude, vertical acceleration, and the positions of key flight controls, was sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Washington, United States for analysis.

Dr Jagdeo said the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) will hold the read out.

Dr Jagdeo was responding to the call of the main opposition People’s National Congress for the government to give an update on the investigation into the crash. He said the Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton could have called the GCAA for an update on the investigation.

The investigation into the crash is being headed by GCAA’s Airworthiness Inspector Krishnanand Ramlachana.

The GCAA and the Police Force are the two agencies that are spearheading the investigation.  And in keeping with protocols, the GDF has convene a Board of Inquiry (BoI) for its own internal review.

The December 6, 2023 crash claimed the lives of five soldiers: Colonel Michael Shahoud, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles, Retired Brigadier Gary Beaton, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome and Warrant Officer Class 2 Jason Khan.

They were part of a seven member crew who were on board the army’s Bell 412 helicopter. As they were 30 miles from the Venezuela border, signal for the helicopter was lost. About two hours after take-off, the aircraft transmitted an emergency locator transmitter signal from coordinates approximately 30 miles east of Arau on Guyana’s western borders.

Search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched to locate the crew members and the aircraft.

And the following day, after strenuous efforts, the team found the crash site about nine miles south-east of Blake Slater’s airstrip, Ekereku Top, Cuyuni River and then confirmed that five soldiers died.

The two soldiers who survived the crash are Corporal Dwayne Jackson and Lieutenant Andio Crawford.

1 Comment
  1. habeeb says

    The entire country is anxious to know what happened and Guyana will wait till next month to give a READ OUT OF THE BLACK BOX ?
    They will first analyze the result, so will the GDF and BoI.
    Then integral parts will not be published.
    I have an idea what happened- between mountains, valleys- the wind is fierce in bad weather, coupled with the wind circulated by the rotors….just me theory.

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