Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Civil Aviation joins drug plane investigation

Lindsay Garbutt

The Department of Civil Aviation has joined in on the investigation into the landing of the Cessna 210 found burnt and abandoned this week in Spanish Lookout’s Green Hills section.

Police have confirmed that illicit cargo, possibly drugs, were being transported in it but no sign of this has been found.

Director of Civil Aviation Lindsay Garbutt says accident investigator Shawn Young has been working with Police on the case as a technical advisor, and efforts are being made to trace the registration of the aircraft.

To him it is clear that the aircraft was burned to destroy evidence, but there is not much more known at this time.

In related news, investigations are still ongoing into two crash incidents with aircraft reported last year, one at the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City and another on a flight to Roatan, Honduras, both involving Tropic Air.

Garbutt says that Tropic and its rival Maya Air have enviable safety records with few incidents reported.

Story and photos:

Belize -- In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, officials of the Belize Police Department and of the Civil Aviation were called out to an area west of Spanish Lookout where a single engine Cessna 210 aircraft was found torched. 

The aircraft was found on a farm road near the Aguacate Creek in the Cayo District.  

Authorities are saying the vessel had not crash landed but rather, was intentionally set on fire. 

Lindsey Garbutt, the Director of Civil Aviation spoke to the media on the incident.

“We have a release that we are going to share with you. My accident investigator Mr. Shawn Young was on the scene almost immediately as we were informed of this and we found that there was a plane that had landed and whomever landed it, burnt it as a means of destroying evidence. We are presently working with the police department to give them all the technical information we can in terms of what kind of aircraft it was, trying to trace the registration so we can provide that information and the police part of the procedure can go on.”

On March 25, 2014, there was a similar incident as local authorities had encountered a Cessna aircraft torched in the Green Hills Area in the Cayo District.  While the Civil Aviation Department had set out to do their due diligence in that incident, it had proven difficult as there was no flight plan filed; it was therefore handed over to the Belize Police Department for further investigations.

Story and photos:

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