A look back at the Caribbean Airlines crash
The Caribbean Airlines crash in Guyana is now history and from all indications this headline news seems to have gone strangely cold. Not so fast, I would say, because so many questions still remain unanswered since that fateful day so let’s recount that incident one more time.
From eyewitnesses at the scene, this aircraft missed the full length of the runway and came down somewhere midway, leaving everyone bewildered as to the impending catastrophe. The impact was so great that the aircraft broke in half.
However, we are thankful to The Almighty that no casualties resulted. Immediately after the impact, the airwaves became inundated with news of Guyana being sanctioned by the International Air and transport Regulators for being shoddy in the conduct of its airport, even my cousin who was not there and knew nothing of the events threw in her lot, stating emphatically, that the airport lacked proper lighting among other sarcastic comments.
The situation was so grave or should I say “everyone” was so sure of Guyana’s negligence that the Prime Minister of Trinidad came to Guyana herself to get a true assessment of the whole affair.In the final analysis we now know that this near tragedy was due to pilot error and not the nonsense that was peddled.
When incidents like the one described above takes place you are forced to reflect as to the worst case scenario or what could have been, which leads me to the main point. Some years ago, I was on a LIAT flight from Barbados to St Lucia when a young lady passenger boarded the plane.
Sometime later, one of the pilots came into the cabin and invited her into the cockpit. She readily accepted the invitation, went up front, sat between the two men and an intense conversation ensued between the three; nothing abnormal. However, when it was time to leave, the doors were closed with the young lady still in the cockpit.
This was now abnormal because everyone kept muttering under their breath why was that lady still in the cockpit. I even gathered up courage and asked the stewardess as to the young lady’s presence there, only to be told that “sometimes the pilot may request the presence of female passenger/s on the jump-seat”
She said this to me with a wry smile on her face then walked away. I had planned to lodge a formal complaint to LIAT concerning this matter but the usual procrastination prevented me from doing so.
In hindsight I must blame myself for not writing that letter because who knows what kind of activity was taking place between the trio far removed from piloting the craft let alone passenger safety! We could have had a serious crash; the entire flight thrown into the Atlantic.