Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cessna T210N Turbo Centurion, XB-LLD: Fatal accident occurred November 2011 near Booby Bird Road on the Bluff, near Cayman Brac - Cayman Islands

NTSB Identification: ERA12WA072
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Monday, November 14, 2011 in Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Aircraft: CESSNA 210, registration: XB-LLD

Injuries: 2 Fatal.

On November 14, 2011, at 0525 universal coordinated time, a Cessna 210, registered in Mexico as XB-LLD, was substantially damaged when it struck wires and trees under unknown circumstances at Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands. The pilot and his passenger were fatally injured.

This investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of the United Kingdom. Further information may be obtained from:

Air Accidents Investigation Branch
Berkshire Copse Road
Aldershot, Hampshire
GU11 2HH, United Kingdom

This report is for informational purposes only and contains information released by or obtained from the Government of the United Kingdom.

The UK Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has issued their findings on the aircraft accident that occurred on Cayman Brac on Sunday 13th November 2011. Two men died in the crash. The report says the aircraft probably suffered an electrical failure.

One of the men killed was Jose Santos Castaneda Castrejon, 35, from Mexico. The other man was Fernando Duran Garcia, 56, from Colombia.

While the report does not provide the identity of the pilots, one can easily figure it out. One of the pilots was issued his Commercial Pilot’s License by the state of Columbia in 1976. Due to the age of the pilots, Fernando Duran Garciais is the only one that could have received his license in 1976.

Post-mortem examinations conducted on behalf of the Cayman Island’s Coroner revealed Castrejon was positive for the presence of cocaine metabolites with associated compounds and chlorphenamine, a substance commonly used in anti-histamines. Garciais’ results were negative.

Castrejon was listed as the pilot in command, according to a flight plan recovered from the aircraft.

The AAIB’s report “There was insufficient evidence to determine the purpose of the flight, but there were indications that it was intended to be clandestine, including the modified fuel system, the intended route and the unidentified flight plan destination.”

“Both pilots were commercial pilots from their respective countries of Mexico and Columbia,” said RCIPS Air Operations Commander Steve Fitzgerald.” Therefore, they would have been fully aware of the International requirements of flight planning and the risks associated with unauthorised fuel modifications, together with flying a single engine aircraft over a 1,000 miles over sea and at night. The addition into the cabin of plastic open fuel containers is an incredible risk that both pilots must have been aware of.”

The AAIB’s report concluded, “The aircraft probably suffered an electrical failure which prevented use of the modified fuel system intended to provide additional range. The aircraft then deviated from its original flight path, possibly because the crew intended to divert to Cuba, and its track passed over Cayman Brac. Evidence indicates that the pilot attempted to land on a road. The aircraft was destroyed when it encountered obstacles, including poles, beside the road.”

It also states, “The manner of operation of this aircraft, including extended flights over water and the modified fuel system, introduced risks to the flight of which the crew must have been aware.”

There was evidence pilots using these GPS Units in the weeks prior had made long distance flights from Central America into Venezuela, returning into unrecognized landing sites in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. At no time was there any evidence that previous or intended routes included the Cayman Islands, or passing close to the Islands.

“Following liaison with all the RCIPS partner agencies in the region including those in the United States, the RCIPS investigators conclusion is that the aircraft’s intended destination was not Cayman Brac but, as indicated in the AAIB report, was as a result of technical problems and the need to reach land. As both pilots died instantly, it will always be a matter of conjecture the reason for the deviation, and indeed the purpose of the flight,” a police spokesperson said.  A full search of the scene and the aircraft at the time confirmed that no cargo, other than the fuel containers, was found at the scene.

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