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LIAT’s plane wheel falls off ; flight lands safely in Barbados

A LIAT Dash 8 aircraft (file photo)

The wheel of a LIAT aircraft fell off while on a flight from Guyana to Barbados, but the plane landed safely at the Grantley Adams International Airport where an emergency had been declared, passengers said.

LIAT (1974) confirmed the occurrence on flight LI 774 on Monday morning, saying that there was a “main wheel failure during takeoff.”

43 passengers were aboard.

“The aircraft continued to the Grantley Adams International Airport where, as a precautionary measure, emergency services were on standby. The landing was uneventful and the passengers disembarked at the gate in Barbados,” the airline said in a statement.

LIAT said the aircraft would be returned to service only after it is examined by the company’s maintenance department and checks stipulated by the manufacturer are done.

Director of Guyana’s Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Zulfikar Mohammed said a passenger saw that one of the wheels was missing and reported it to the pilot. After consultations with LIAT’s maintenance personnel in Barbados, the pilot was advised to continue the flight to Barbados, said Mohammed.

The GCAA boss said LIAT would have to submit a report to the Guyanese regulatory agency after an investigation is done by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA). LIAT’s planes are registered in Antigua and Barbuda which is an ECAA member.