Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Cessna 421, HC-CIK: Commission of Inquiry to probe Ecuadorean aircraft's activities in Guyana

The repainted Cessna 421

Brazilian pilot Goncola Ferreira Lima Neto

The Guyana government is to hold a presidential Commission of Inquiry into the presence and activities of the Ecuadorean-registered aircraft that was seized in the interior late last month, a senior official here said Wednesday. 

 Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon said the five member probe team would be drawn from the Guyana Police Force, Guyana Defence Force Customs Anti Narcotics Unit, Guyana Civil Aviation Authority and the private sector.

"In the wake of the Ecuadorean-registered aircraft seizure Cabinet has decided to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the aircraft's presence here in Guyana and the subsequent related and unfolding events," he told the weekly post-cabinet news conference.

He said it was likely that either the GCAA or the Foreign Ministry had already contacted Ecuadorean authorities about the aircraft that had originally bore registration number HC-CIK.

When the plane was found at Pirara one day after departing the Ogle International Airport, the aircraft was repainted, fitted with extra fuel tanks and hoses to facilitate long flying hours and the registration number changed to Venezuelan.

The Cessna 421 plane departed the Ogle International Airport on Sunday October 28 at 19:40 (GMT) ostensibly destined for Boa Vista but the pilot eventually discontinued contact with Guyana’s Air Traffic Control.

A search was launched and the aircraft was found on Monday October 29 at Pirara minus the Brazilian pilot, Goncola Ferreira Lima Neto, who was the lone occupant.

He had arrived on October 26 to fly the plane that had been brought here by another pilot two months earlier from Trinidad on what local authorities said they were led to believe was a technical stop.

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