Probe into Matthews Ridge plan crash could take up to a year – Benn

Aviation minister Robeson Benn stated that the report from the investigation into the Air Services Limited (ASL) plane crash at Matthews Ridge in mid-July could take up to a year to complete.

He told Stabroek News that such reports, which are compiled by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), took months to complete and he added that this was standard operating procedure.

Benn noted that investigations had to be thorough and the GCAA was required to follow proper procedures while gathering relevant information. He said that while the ASL Cessna Caravan was indeed a crash, the media had to be more careful when reporting air related incidents. Benn said that the GCAA had specific qualifications for determining what were crashes versus accidents and incidents.

He said that the incident which occurred on Friday, when a Cessna crashed into a fence after failing to stop upon landing in Aishalton, Region Nine, was caused by a propeller strike. He noted that so far, the preliminary findings were that the nose of the plane touched the ground as did the propeller, which caused the plane to skid off the runway. Stabroek News was told that the landing gear malfunctioned and none of the passengers was injured.

The GCAA is currently still working on its findings in relation to the April plane crash, which resulted in the death of two foreigners. An American-registered Piper Aztec plane, N27-FT, reportedly encountered engine trouble prior to crashing into a Sparendaam Housing Scheme residence belonging to 69-year-old Florence Dyer-Tyndall.

The pilot was identified as Pierre Angiel, 71, of Florida and the Canadian technician as Nick Dmitriev, 54. Dmitriev was part of a team conducting a survey of the Amaila Falls access road. Angiel was from a Miami-based company.

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