Civil aviation crash investigations expected to be completed soon

Randy Liverpool

The investigations of two domestic airplane crashes, including one that caused the death of a pilot, are still in progress but are expected to be completed soon, Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Egbert Field has said.

The crashes occurred on the West Bank of Demerara and at Eteringbang. Field told Stabroek News on Monday that while the draft report on the findings of the investigation of the Eteringbang crash is completed, it still has to be reviewed and authorised. However, he noted that both reports should be completed soon and will be made available for public viewing.

On February 18th, a Guyana Adventist Medical Aviation Services plane crash-landed in the wetlands area behind Nismes on the West Bank of Demerara, with two persons and a dead body onboard.

Field had told Stabroek News that the plane went down about 13 miles from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport at Timehri. The aircraft, a single-engine Cessna, was returning from a medical mission in the North West and was at the time headed to the Eugene F Correia Airport.

The pilot, Lincoln Gomez and policeman Michael Grimond were both rescued from the crash. Gomez suffered a broken jaw, Grimond sustained a broken leg.

Less than four days later, another aircraft went down in Eteringbang, Region Seven, resulting in the death of Captain Randy Liverpool, who was the lone occupant of the Cessna 206 aircraft, which was registered to Domestic Airways.

The GCAA had said that the plane crashed on approach at the Eteringbang Airstrip at approximately 5.45 pm.

The police had said that the aircraft was travelling from Ekereku to Eteringbang and was about five minutes away from the airstrip when it went down. A loud explosion was heard and fire was seen coming from the aircraft.

When the reports are completed they will be submitted to the Minister of Public Infrastructure, who will then do a further review before they are approved to be made public.

Field noted that they will also look at the report and its recommendations and will decide which of them they can act on.

“It’s up to the GCAA. If it’s a safety matter that can be actioned by the GCAA, either by issuing directives or issuing some notices or calling in, we would institute whatever recommendations or if say the pilot may have erred and needs more additional training, we would make the recommendation that the items or things that can be rectified by the company to be done,” he explained.

As it relates to the international company–Fly Jamaica–crash landing at the CJIA, Field noted that the report is still being compiled. He said one of the challenges is that the company’s headquarters are located in Jamaica.

“So even though the accident happened here, the investigating team has to inspect and review documents for Fly Jamaica which may be in their main office in Jamaica at their base station. They have to move between here and there,” he said, while noting that the process is tedious and they do not have a timeframe for when they expect it to be completed. 

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