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GCAA seeks regional, international help in aircraft crash probe


United States, Canadian and Caribbean expertise is being mobilized to help the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) probe last Saturday’s plane crash that claimed the lives of a Canadian pilot and Guyanese cargo loader, authorities announced on Wednesday.

Transport Minister, Robeson Benn said the GCAA has already secured expertise from Canada where the engine for the Cessna Caravan was manufactured.

“Transport Canada Safety Board has already accredited an inspector for this accident investigation,” he told a news conference.

The GCAA has also asked the United States National Transport Safety Board (NTSB), the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security and Oversight System (CASSOS)  and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Suriname (CASAS), Cessna- the aircraft manufacturer- and  Pratt and Whitney which manufactured the engine.

GCAA Director General, Zulficar Mohamed said efforts would also be made to contact the manufacturers of the Emergency Locator Transmitter because there is a growing trend locally and overseas that many of those devices are not being activated when planes crash.

Authorities also announced that GCAA investigators have begun an in-depth probe into how the plane went down Saturday morning. “In keeping with the protocols and procedures for accident investigations, the GCAA investigators have identified and commenced the interviewing of material witnesses and are gathering the necessary documentary and photographic evidence at the site for analysis,” said the Transport Minister.

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) was expected to assist the GCAA in removing the necessary components of the aircraft for further analysis.

The bodies of pilot Blake Slater and Cargo Loader Dwayne Jacobs Newton were brought out from the Olive Creek area after they were extracted from the mangled wreck deep in the heart of the jungle.

Owned by Trans Guyana Airways (TGA), the plane was shuttling seven drums of fuel with an estimated weight of 2,800 pounds from Olive Creek to Imbaimadai.