May 29, 2013 News
– Compensation may take awhile
– Aircraft Owners’ Association awaits meeting with President
By Keeran Danny
The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has met with Sithe Global in relation to liability for the American-registered aircraft which crashed into a Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara house on April 13.
Zulficar Mohamed, Director General of the regulatory body, while not divulging the precise nature of the discussions, did confirm that the insurance company has now been identified.
However, Mohamed has refused to disclose the name of the insurance company. He said all parties involved are aware of the company. Compensation for the destroyed properties may take some time.
The two-man crew on board the twin-engine Piper Aztec, with registration N27-F was on a technical survey mission for the Amaila Falls Hydropower project. Apparently, Sithe Global, responsible for managing the construction of the project, subcontracted Digital World Mapping to conduct surveys.
The aircraft just after taking off from the Ogle International Airport, crashed into Florence Tyndall’s residence and burnt a section of her neighbour, Michelle Belle’s house. Tyndall escaped unharmed but the aircraft’s owner and pilot Pierre Angiel and his passenger Canadian Scientist Nick Dmitriev perished.
Subsequent to the crash the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and other organizations provided assistance to the victims. Tyndall and Belle were also asked to prepare estimates of their losses and submit them to the Sparendaam Police Station.
Following the crash, Transport Minister Robeson Benn said that Government would only provide support, since it was the duty of the insurance company to offer compensation.
Meanwhile, the remains of the aircraft are now being examined by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and there is no definite date as to when GCAA would obtain the results, Paula Mc Adam, GCAA’s Director of Aviation Safety Regulation stated.
According to Mc Adam, the NTSB is one of the few organizations equipped to conduct these examinations and so Guyana has to “wait its turn”.
However, this is not the end of the episode. Members of the local Aircraft Owners’ Association are still waiting to meet Head-of-State Donald Ramotar on events surrounding the plane crash.
Earlier this month, the Association wrote to Ramotar expressing concerns that the aircraft entered Guyana without proper due diligence being carried out by the GCAA. The letter pointed out that the Authority should not be the body conducting the investigations since they are the subject of investigation. And the regulations provide for the President to direct the investigations.
According to a source, GCAA’s Air Transport Management Department, headed by Mohamed, did not inform the agency’s Aviation Safety Regulations Department of the aircraft’s presence in Guyana. While, Mohamed has denied this allegation, Mc Adam has refused to comment on the matter.
Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon had indicated that the letter from the Association may incite an engagement with the President.
During a brief interview with this publication yesterday, the Association’s Public Relations Officer, Kit Nascimento, was optimistic that President Ramotar will meet with members of the body.
“We understand the President is giving serious consideration to our concerns raised in the letter with regards inquiry into the plane crash. Therefore, we are awaiting a response from the President,” Nascimento said.
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