A bad year for the aviation sector
A near-disastrous crash-landing at the country’s only international airport, and a spate of
other accidents in the interior made 2011 a bad year for the aviation sector. There were at least four plane mishaps last year.
The first happened in late April, when a bird was sucked into the left engine of a Caribbean Airlines B737-800 aircraft when it was some five miles from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. Eyewitnesses recalled hearing loud explosions and seeing smoke over the area.
Although the propeller was damaged, the pilot managed to head back to the airport and land safely with its 152 passengers and six crew members. Airport officials said th
at the plane had ascended to 3,000 feet when the bird was sucked into the engine.
Authorities believe that a hawk, attracted by chicken farms in the vicinity of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), may have been the bird which caused the incident.
Birds sucked into plane engines have been responsible for several fatal plane crashes in the US.
In June, a Cessna Caravan belonging to Air Services Limited (ASL) damaged its propeller while landing on a runway at Eteringbang, Cuyuni.
Annette Arjoon, an official of ASL said that the Eteringbang and Kaikan airstrips are among some of the more dangerous in the country to land, with barely room to manoeuvre.
Arjoon said that the unevenness of the runway may have contributed to the propeller “nicking” the ground on lan
A new propeller was taken in but it was unclear whether it was used. There was no immediate indication of how many passengers were on board or what cargo was being taken to that area.
Guyana made the international news for all the main wrong reasons on July 30, when a Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) Boeing 737-800, with several passengers on board, overshot the runway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. The aircraft smashed through the airport fence and ended up on a roadway where it broke in two.
The aircraft had come from Port of Spain, Trinidad, after picking up passengers at the JFK International in the US.
Fortunately, there were no casualties, but passenger Noel Elliot sustained injuries to his right leg which had to be amputated. In all, 35 people, including the pilot, were treated for injuries. Plans are now in place to have the runway extended, and for massive impro
vements at the airport.
Meanwhile, results of the investigation into the crash are still forthcoming. Then in late November a small two-seater C-152 aircraft crash landed at Moor Farm, Wakenaam Island. One resident recalled hearing the sound of the engine and saw the plane flying low over the uncultivated rice lands about a mile from the main public road.
He realized that the aircraft was experiencing difficulty since there was no place to land in that area and he raised an alarm.
The area where the aircraft crash landed was about half mile from the eastern end of the Wakenaam Airstrip.
Reports indicate that the aircraft had run out of fuel.