Saturday, June 07, 2014

Paramakatoi plane incident…No evidence of cows on the runway - Guyana Civil Aviation Authority

Pilots landing at uncontrolled aerodromes in the hinterlands should circle the area first before landing, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) warned yesterday.

Regulators of aviation industry have warned that pilots landing at uncontrolled hinterland airstrips must circle first.

The authority was speaking on an incident earlier this week in which a Cessna 206 veered off the runway at the Paramakatoi Airstrip, Region Eight, and ploughed through a barbed wire fence. The plane is owned by Air Services Limited (ASL).

The pilot who escaped unhurt reportedly blamed the incident on cows that were on the airstrip.

GCAA in a statement said that it was investigating the incident. However, there are no indications that cattle were present in the area, the authority said.

“The facts uncovered in the preliminary investigation do not suggest that there was cattle present on or in the vicinity of the airstrip at the time of the incident. 

The Authority wishes to make it clear that there are established procedures which govern operation into and out of uncontrolled aerodromes such as Paramakatoi that require the pilot to pass over in the vicinity of the aerodrome to ensure that the runway is clear of all obstacles prior to landing.”

The aircraft was at the time transporting cargo with only the pilot in command on board.

According to GCAA, the most recent Advisory Circular on Standard Operating Procedures at Uncontrolled Aerodromes was issued to the industry in September 2013 and describes actions to be taken by a pilot to ensure that a proper assessment of conditions at the airstrip are made before landing.

ASL’s General Manger, Annette Arjoon-Martins, had told this newspaper yesterday that the 8R-SUP Cessna 206 was shuttling food from Mahdia when on approach to the airstrip, the pilot encountered a strong cross wind.

She said that as the pilot prepared to land the plane, cows then began to run across the runway. In an attempt to avoid the cows the pilot veered off the runway and came to a stop in a barbed wire fence.

Arjoon-Martins was firm that more needs to be done to ensure safety, especially in the interior locations. She said that cattle and airstrips don’t mix and much more has to be done to ke
ep the animals off the airstrip since this is an existing problem for aircraft operators.


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