GCAA investigations into aircraft accidents still ongoing

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 14, 2017

Following a Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), press conference at its headquarters, it was disclosed that of the three shuttle operation accidents, two engines and propellers were retrieved. However, the last accident resulted in complete damage to that aircraft.

During his update, Director General, Lieutenant Colonel, (Rtd.) Egbert Field said the three shuttle operations were from the Roraima Airways, Wings Aviation Authority, and Air Services Guyana.

Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Director General, Lieutenant Colonel, (Rtd) Egbert Field.

According to Field, investigations into the first Roraima Airways accident, which resulted in the death of the pilot, revealed that he flew from the Eugene Correia International Airport and executed a total of nineteen shuttles from Eteringbang and Ekereku.

“I guess you can see why we are asking for standardisation of proper procedures. We are investigating and we are paying close attention to the flight and duty time and limitations in this incident”, he said.

With regard to the Wings Aviation’s Services Shuttle operation accident, which occurred just after a takeoff at Eterinbang Airstrip and resulted in injuries to the pilot, Field said, the investigations to ascertain the cause are still ongoing and the GCAA will examine all factors that led to the accident. He said the Authority is interviewing eyewitnesses, in view of the fact that the aircraft flew from Eterinbang with unsecured drums loaded with fuel.

Meanwhile, following the most recent Air Services Limited accident that completely damaged the aircraft and resulted in the death of the pilot, Imran Khan,  Field disclosed that the GCAA had experienced difficulties reaching the site of the accident. However, the Guyana Defence Special Force was able to locate and move the body to the extraction point. “I had instructed that the Special Forces take as many pictures as possible of the scene. And those pictures which are tremendous are being right now reviewed and analyzed”, he said.

The GCAA is currently conducting eyewitness interviews with company representatives and also individuals from the Mahdia Station where the aircraft had taken off.

The Director revealed that a similar characteristic in the last three accidents, is the fact they were all shuttle operations, however, he opined that this may not necessarily be the cause of the accidents.

In relation to continued Shuttle Operations, the Director believes those are necessary, but the operations will be managed by a structured system prepared by the GCAA.

“This country cannot develop without shuttle operations. We have to take into considerations the hinterland residents who depend on the goods from the coastland. And in order to have it at a cheaper price, the shuttle operations is definitely important”, Field said.

The GCAA had requested that all shuttle operators provide their manuals for air services to formalise the procedure. Since then, Trans Guyana Airways and a few other operators have submitted theirs, however, only Trans Guyana was approved by the Authority for shuttle operations.

Field emphasised that the GCAA will not take aviation situations lightly, “We have increased our oversight, and this will not only be at Cheddi Jagan International Airport or at the Eugene F. Corriea Airport, we will also be stretching our arms out into the interior at some points, main point or drop off points for shuttle operations”.

He is also advising the public to not be alarmed since the investigations are to find the cause of the accidents and enhance safety in the future.

At the end of September, the Authority hopes to have operational testing of the Automatic Dependency Surveillance Broadcast to monitor the movements of aircrafts in Kaieteur, Annai, Kamerang and the Port Kaituma areas.


By: Crystal Stoll