Aircraft overshoots airstrip, crashes in Region 7

A team from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has been dispatched to Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) on Thursday following an aircraft accident at Aricheng airstrip. This was confirmed by Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Egbert Fields who told the Guyana Times that the accident occurred late Wednesday afternoon.
He also confirmed that the aircraft registered to Roraima Airways overshot the runway as it was taking and ended up in a clump of bushes. At the time of the accident, the aircraft was shuttling fuel.
“All I can say at this time, that it was the pilot and one passenger…none of them were injured but the aircraft did sustain some damage…our team is expected to conduct a thorough investigation into the accident,” Fields noted.
In addition, he added that a team will also brief the minister on the accident and more so, the cause of same. When contacted, founder and owner of the Roraima Group of Companies, Gerry Gouveia related that he is awaiting the details from the GCAA who travelled into the area on Thursday.
He added that based on preliminary inquiries, the aircraft did not receive severe damage but confirmed that it ran off the end of the airstrip as it was about to take off. Gouveia also related that no one was injured in the accident.
This is the third aircraft over the past few weeks to have been involved in an accident. On this note, GCAA’s Director General stated that based on the reports from the accident, he will have to see what is common and then act on same.
He recalled that in the past, there were issues with respect to procedures in the shuttle program and some revised measures had to be put in place. “With respect to the recent accidents, we will have to assess the reports and I will have to determine the common cause of the accident and make the necessary recommendation.”
Following the previous two accidents, Public Works Minister Bishop Juan Edghill has ordered that the two recent hinterland aircraft accidents be investigated with support from other agencies.
The first accident involved a Cessna Caravan belonging to Jags Aviation of BK Group of Companies ran off the Eteringbang runway, Region Seven. A similar incident occurred at the Kamarang airstrip due to the disintegration of a Cessna plane’s propeller upon take off. The plane’s private operator is Orlando Charles.
Referring to the incident at Eteringbang, Minister Edghill said the investigation will have to take a multi-sectoral approach, including assistance from the Guyana Police Force. The aircraft was discovered to have been carrying mercury, a restricted substance, for which the aviation service was not authorised to transport. The Minister said the mercury was removed from the aircraft before the inspection was conducted.
In relation to the Kamarang accident, the Minister said news of a disintegrated propellor is shocking, and begs the question of maintenance.
“So, the officers of the GCAA who were responsible for inspecting and authorising these aircraft to be operated based upon their maintenance and servicing compliance responsibilities would also come up for scrutiny because these are very serious issues.
Our passengers and Guyanese and foreigners must always feel safe every time they board an aircraft for a destination. And it is the responsibility of the regulatory body, the GCAA to ensure that every air service provider is operating in keeping with the law and is in full compliance.”
Minister Edghill has also instructed aerodrome operators to ensure all hinterland aerodromes are safe for landing and take-off.