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Pilot error caused Caribbean Airlines crash; report contains recommendations

The crashed plane at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport two years ago/File photo.

Guyana will have to implement a series of recommendations on how to avoid another crash at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) similar to the one involving a Caribbean Airlines jet two years ago, a senior official said Thursday.

The Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Zulfikar Mohammed said the report, which confirmed pilot error was the cause of the July 30, 2011 mishap, would be studied and released by Transport Minister Robeson Benn.

Mohammed said the report would not be used to file any claim for damages. “It’s not for litigation purposes or cast any blame as such,” Mohammed told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com).
 
The GCAA boss explained that the report would say exactly what happened and emphasise several areas for safety. “They will tell you what actions should be taken in terms of improving safety, preventing accidents of this sort from happening again,” he said.

Mohammed’s explanation followed confirmation by Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira earlier Thursday of what had been known hours after the crash- the pilot engaged in a “long-landing” on the CJIA runway that prevented him from stopping the Boeing 737-800 before it could have ran off the 7,400 long runway half way over a ravine. The plane cracked in half.

Reading an excerpt from the report, Teixeira said: “The cause of the accident was the aircraft touching down far beyond the touch-down zone due to the captain maintaining excess power during the flare and not using the airplane’s full deceleration capacity resulting in the aircraft overrunning the pavement and fracturing the fuselage.”

The GCAA-led probe received support from the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight (CASSOS), Caribbean Airlines, Trinidad and Tobago’s Civil Aviation Authority  and Boeing Aircraft company.

Eight Guyanese passengers in July 2013 filed lawsuits claiming a total of GUY$8 million associated with alleged negligent operation of Caribbean Airlines Flight # BW523