JCAA responds to criticism about probe into Greenwich Town plane crash

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JCAA responds to criticism about probe into Greenwich Town plane crash

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Apr 14, 2019

http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/jcaa-res ... lane-crash

JCAA responds to criticism about probe into Greenwich Town plane crash
Thu April 11, 2019

The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) has responded to criticism about the probe into the fatal plane crash in Greenwich Town, St. Andrew on November 10, 2016.

The Caribbean Aviation Training Center, which operated the ill-fated plane, has challenged aspects of the report.

Captain Errol Stewart, CEO of the company, told the Gleaner that the JCAA was conflicted because it was investigating itself.

The probe, conducted by the JCAA and the US-based National Transportation Safety Board, uncovered major safety breaches concerning the aircraft and the Caribbean Aviation Training Center.

Speaking at a media briefing Thursday morning, JCAA Director General Nari Williams-Singh said the investigations were carried out according to international standards.

"The investigator in charge was appointed in accordance with the Civil Aviation Act and acted independently of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority. The investigation was conducted jointly with the National Transportation Safety Board, the NTSB, and the United States. The NTSB is an accredited party to the investigation as the aircraft involved in the accident was manufactured and registered in the United States. The aircraft engine manufacturer, Lycoming, and the aircraft manufacturer, Cessna, were technical advisors to the NTSB. It is therefore disingenuous to suggest that the JCAA was investigating itself, given the participation of the aforementioned parties," he contended.

The JCAA said its final report on the crash did not include Captain Stewart's eight page rebuttal to the findings because the concerns were not material.

Mr. Williams-Singh added that the JCAA did not receive the rebuttal last October as was stated by Captain Stewart but in February this year.

Captain Errol Stewart has also denied a claim in the report that the work order for the overhaul of the plane's Cessna engine was forged. However, the JCAA has insisted that the documents were not authentic.

"The JCAA notes that during the investigations, the investigator requested on numerous occasions for the operator, CATC, to provide an authorised release certificate or a copy of the work order relating to work carried out to overhaul the aircraft engine. This documentation was however not forthcoming. As such, the investigator, through the National Transportation Safety Board, then sought to procure the work order from the engine repair facility, which was identified in the engine logbook. The named engine repair facility was contacted by the National Transportation Safety Board and the engine repair facility responded that they had never worked on that engine, rendering the engine overhaul documentation fraudulent," Mr. Williams-Singh pointed out.

Captain Stewart also said a faulty ring gear in the engine, which investigators said caused the small plane to lose power, did not belong to the crashed Cessna.

However, Mr. Williams-Singh said the picture of the ring gear which appeared in the report is a reference starter ring gear from manufacturers Lycoming, and not the actual part taken from the crashed plane.

"The engine manufacturer attached the reference starter ring gear to the engine crank shaft during the investigations to determine measurements and specifications. From those measurements, it was determined by the engine manufacturer that the engine's internal timing was incorrect," he revealed.

The operations of foreign registered aircraft in Jamaica will now come under greater scrutiny, Mr. Williams-Singh disclosed, noting that the crashed plane had been registered in the United States.

He said the JCAA will be "updating our checklist and processes" in relation to the operation of foreign registered aircraft.

The JCAA said it is taking steps to improve its operations and implement recommendations after shortcomings were also found on its part during the probe into the Greenwich Town crash.

"We will continue to proactively implement processes and procedures to strengthen the safety of our aviation industry. The JCAA believes that the publishing of this final accident report provides an opportunity for all named parties to review their policies and procedures and make the changes necessary to ensure that a tragedy of this nature never reoccurs," Mr. Williams-Singh said.

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