…says no disruption to CJIA’s operations
The Boeing 757 aircraft’s black box containing all the information about Fly Jamaica’s Flight OJ256 has been retrieved but is yet to be sent off to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for investigation, according to the Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Colonel (ret’d) Egbert Field.
Flight OJ256, destined for Toronto Canada, carrying 118 adults, two infants and an 8-member crew, took off from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport at about 02:10h on Friday, but after some time, the aircraft encountered hydraulic problems, and as such returned to Timehri where it crash-landed. The incident has left the passengers and crew traumatized, with five of those passengers sustaining minor injuries.
On Saturday, Col Field told <<Guyana Times>> that because the incident occurred during the weekend period, things are not moving along as fast as would be desired, hence the reason the black box is yet to be sent off.
He added that there are no new developments, as the investigations are still ongoing and are in the preliminary stages.
These two pieces of equipment, he added, are important to determine what transpired on the morning of November 9, 2018.
Col Field assured that the airport’s operations have not been affected, as flights have been taking off and landing as per normal. He stated that the scene of the crash is still being processed.
Meanwhile, Fly Jamaica is yet to issue an official statement about the details surrounding the incident, but did confirm the accident. The Airline have said that they have opened their call centers around the clock, and are contacting passengers with flight reservations through November 14. Arrangements have been made with Caribbean Airlines to have the passengers transported to their destinations.
At a press conference on Friday, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson explained that a preliminary investigation has been launched into the accident. He nevertheless reiterated that all the passengers and crew are accounted for, while noting the passengers were of various nationalities, including Pakistani, Canadian, American, Trinidadian and Guyanese.
Six of the eight crew members are Guyanese, he added. He also noted that a few passengers would have received minor injuries as they were being taken off the aircraft.
The accident definitely warrants an investigation, and according to Field, a specialist has been appointed by Minister Patterson to overlook the investigation.
Meanwhile, several firefighters were questioned by the Guyana Police Force after they were accused of stealing personal items from the captain and crew members of the beleaguered airline. The theft occurred while the firemen were assisting in the evacuation of the passengers from the aircraft.
Fire Chief Marlon Gentle confirmed that some of the stolen items, such as electronic devices, were returned by one of the firemen. In addition, other items were recovered at the Timehri Fire Station. The Police are investigating that incident.
In 2016, an incoming Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) flight had struck a Fly Jamaica airplane that was parked at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. It was later confirmed that the right wing of the CAL plane had knocked the tail cone of the Fly Jamaica aircraft, which was parked. It was reported that the CAL flight was arriving from New York, while the Fly Jamaica plane was being prepared for boarding.
Back in 2011, a Boeing 737–800 aircraft owned by Caribbean Airlines split into two after it veered off the runaway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
An investigation revealed that “the probable cause of the accident was that the aircraft touched down approximately 4700 feet beyond the runway threshold, some 2700 feet from the end of the runway, as a result of the captain maintaining excess power during the flare and upon touching down, failure to utilise the aircraft’s full deceleration capability resulted in the aircraft overrunning the remaining runway and fracturing the fuselage.