Fly Jamaica accident investigation underway

-10 receiving treatment for back and spinal injuries

-Investigations ongoing, NTSB contacted

DPI, Guyana, Friday, November 9, 2018

Investigations are ongoing following the emergency landing of Fly Jamaica flight OJ 256, this morning. This disclosure was made by Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson at a media briefing at 10:00 am.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson reported that all the passengers were taken to a holding facility for debriefing and information gathering. Fly Jamaica has arranged for some passengers to travel to their original destinations via Caribbean Airlines tomorrow. Others have been accommodated at hotels or their homes as required.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shamdeo Persaud described the removal and transportation of the 10 injured passengers to the to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre as effective.  Dr. Persaud said x-rays and further tests were conducted on the passengers to ascertain where any suffered spinal injuries. Medication for those with preexisting conditions have been sourced and will be delivered to those in need. Those with suspected spinal injuries have been stabilised. The airport’s authorities will partner with the Public Health Ministry to offer counselling to the affected passengers

Giving a report of the current situation, GCAA Director, Lt. Col. (Retd.) Egbert Field said, the Chief Accident Investigator Paula McAdam will be assisted by GCAA inspectors. He also disclosed that the Jamaican Government and the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) have been contacted and will assist as needed with the investigation. Cockpit and voice recorders were recovered, secured and sent to the NTSB for analysis. Filed noted that this investigation will take some time and the findings will be used to assist global operators going forward.

He also reported that aircraft operations were initially suspended and the first flight initially scheduled to leave at 5:35 am took off at 7:30 am.  Other flights were delayed by a few hours but arrangements were made to facilitate their departure.

Director Field could not confirm whether the aircraft was pulled from service within the last few months, when asked. The aircraft will be removed, once initial investigations are complete, he added. The event has been classified as an accident not a crash, given the damage to the wings and engines after the controlled landing, the GCAA Director explained

CJIA Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Ghair revealed that initial feedback indicates that procedures were followed in accordance with the established emergency plan

As investigation continue the site is secured by 12 ranks from the Guyana Defence Force and 9 from the Guyana Police Force.

All of the 128 persons on board were accounted for. There were 8 crew members – six Guyanese and two Jamaican and 120 passengers, including 2 infants – one American, 82 Canadians, 35 Guyanese, one Pakistani and one Trinidadian.

Fly Jamaica Flight No OJ 256 departed the Cheddi Jagan International Airport at 2:10 am. At 2:21 am, the pilot declared an emergency and requested to return. The flight landed at 2:53 am. It landed on the extended runway, and skidded off to a stop near the same location where Caribbean Airlines Flight 523 overran the runway at on 30 July 2011.

Paul Mc Adam.

Images: Keno George/Kwasie Wishart.

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