New CAL plane briefly grounded in Canada

(Trinidad Guardian) A new Caribbean Airlines (CAL) Boeing 767 aircraft was temporarily grounded yesterday in Canada causing a delay to passengers en route to T&T. Caribbean Airlines communication manager Clint Williams told the T&T Guardian the flight, BW 610 to Toronto, had been flawless but on arrival officials noticed an indicator light drawing their attention to a flap part.

Flaps are mounted on the trailing edges of the wings to reduce the speed at which an aircraft can be safely flown and to increase the angle of descent for landing. Williams said the part was changed on the ground at the Toronto airport.

He said there was a delay to accommodate a rest for the crew but added that the return flight was flawless. Less than two weeks ago, one of the airline’s newly-acquired ATR 72-600s, flight BW 300, had to return to Piarco Airport after an engine casing became detached shortly after take-off.

No one was hurt in the incident and Williams said investigations were still continuing. He also confirmed that the airline awaited a final report on flight BW 523, which slid off the runway in Guyana in July last year. The plane, also a Boeing 737, crashed through a fence at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and broke in two before stopping at the edge of a ravine.

The preliminary findings of an investigation by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, released earlier this year, suggested the pilot might have undertaken a “long landing”  and did not have enough space to bring the aircraft to a safe stop. “One must consider that aircraft are machines and will have mechanical issues daily,” said Williams.

He said because of the airline’s safety standards, CAL would not allow an aircraft to fly unless it was perfect. “Our aircraft’s reliability and safety meet and exceed international standards,” Williams added.