Orlando Charles, Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of Domestic Airlines was yesterday arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on four charges in relation to the deadly plane crash at Eteringbang, Region Seven, which claimed the life of Captain Randy Liverpool in February of this year.
Liverpool perished in the Cessna 206 aircraft which crash-landed near the Eteringbang airstrip. The charges brought against his employer were filed under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) regulations by acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Protection, Adrian Ramrattan.
The charges read that Charles in his capacity as CEO of Domestic Airlines failed to register the accident; failed to report the accident, and obstructed an occupational health and safety inspector (Dwayne Vyphuis) by refusing to furnish him with information relating to the accident which resulted in the death of Liverpool.
The airline executive was also charged for failure to register an industrial establishment.
Charles pleaded guilty yesterday to the first three charges and not guilty to the fourth offence when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan. On the first two charges, Charles was fined a total of $75,000, failing to pay which would result in three weeks’ imprisonment for each offence.
In relation to the third charge, however, the Magistrate did not impose a penalty.
She noted the need for clarity on the issue of liability, and deferred sentencing to today when Attorney-at-law, attached to the Ministry of Social Protection, Kevin Morgan, will make submissions as to under which section of the OSH laws, Charles should be penalised.
Meanwhile, Charles, who was unrepresented in court yesterday, explained that he is new to aviation management in Guyana. He said that he has been a pilot for 18 years.
He claimed that the aviation industry is strictly regulated by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority and he acquired their licence to operate and was not aware of the agency‘s OSH regulations and risks. Attorney Morgan explained, nonetheless, that Domestic Airlines was operating in Guyana since 2014.
The lawyer claimed that the company had been certified in January 2018. According to Morgan, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority is currently conducting a separate investigation into the matter.
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