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[GCAA] Civil Aviation awaits final report on AA runway incident

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[GCAA] Civil Aviation awaits final report on AA runway incident

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Sep 06, 2019

https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2019 ... -incident/

[GCAA] Civil Aviation awaits final report on American Airlines runway incident
Sep 04, 2019

Authorities are awaiting the final report of an investigation into an incident last month at the Timehri airport where an American Airlines plane damaged its wheels while preparing for takeoff.

According to Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Lt Colonel, Egbert Field, investigations into the incident at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) have been completed.

“…and the report is now being submitted to the Minister (of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson). As soon as he reviews out the report, I would be able to outline some of the finding and the recommendations. But he will be in receipt of the report sometime this afternoon,” the official told the media yesterday.

He pointed out that it must be recognized that the CJIA was under construction—and that the runway was under construction so there were some variations when it came to the lighting.

He said that all of the locations for the temporary lighting were published, and pilots were aware of them.

“But I prefer to go more into detail after the minister has reviewed the report. Then I would be able to give you some more detail on the findings. We have not gotten any reports from passengers, reference what has been taking place. We must understand that airlines all over the world suffer…things like these happen, and it’s how you deal with them to make sure that when they happen that you have a contingency plan, or an emergency plan to deal with—if its loss of pressure in the cabin or any other matter. There are checklists utilized by the pilot of the airline to cope with the emergencies.”

The official noted that it is the authorities that inspect the aircraft being used.

“Our duty and prerogative is to inspect any aircraft that lands in the territory of Guyana. We inspect our local aircraft, and we inspect out foreign aircraft. We do what we call ramp inspections because these aircraft are not here overnight- inspectors would normally board an aircraft when it touches down. And for the period of time while it is on the ground, maintenance, operational and cabin safety inspectors would board the aircraft and check on various items. [They would check] manuals, documentation, pilot licences, to ensure that the aircraft is not only kept in a good condition, but that the crew operating the aircraft are properly qualified and are current.”

According to the Director-General, before 2016, ramp inspections were hardly done, “or I would say that they were never done. In 2016 to now, my records would show that they have conducted 200-and something ramp inspection landings at Timerhi. And this is just to ensure the safety of the passengers and the aircraft. You could be from a small airline, or a large one, it doesn’t matter. Our regulation is that when you land on territory of Guyana we have the preoperative and the right to board your aircraft, and to inspect and to check it.”

“So far, my inspectors have not come across any findings which we need to report to American Airlines. If they would have found anything, it would have been minor problems, which we would have just advised the crew on. But we found nothing which would say that the aircraft is unworthy. As a matter of fact, my report from the inspection is that they have been maintaining in an excellent fashion. I would expect this from the American Airlines. But as you know, and what you have probably heard over the years is that no matter how big or small you are as an airline, when a mechanical part wants to fail, it fails.”

Field also stressed that the licenses are usually valid for a period of one year.

“Even though periodically in that year we continue our surveillance by making impromptu visits, by the end of the year we do a complete inspection of all the items before that licence is reviewed. There is a fee attached because we have to pay our inspectors and the authority needs to move forward. It costs $250,000, and I am sure that this amount will go up. As the oil flows I am sure that we will be increasing that fee.”

On Wednesday August 21, 2019 at approximately 00:30 hrs, American Airlines Flight No. AA1512 destined to Miami, United States was executing a left turn on the runway (RWY 06) threshold for takeoff.

According to the GCAA, at this time, the pilot of the Airbus 319 aircraft, registration N9025B, taxied by back tracking the Runway 06 in order to position the aircraft for takeoff on RWY 06.

On the pilot’s attempt to make the 180 degree turn-around at the existing threshold of RWY 06, the nose gear and right undercarriage wheels came into contact with the cables and temporary threshold lights which were positioned before the transverse strip. The authority said that the transverse strip identifies the threshold of the runway.

“Contact with the temporary threshold lights punctured three wheels of the aircraft (the two nose wheels and the outer right side main gear wheel). Investigation into the incident is ongoing by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, however, preliminary findings suggest that the temporary threshold lights were before the transverse strip and not behind. In addition, the housing (case) of temporary threshold lights were not frangible. These factors are seen as probable contributory causes for the incident,” a recent GCAA report had disclosed of the incident.

This latest incident would have followed another, shortly before that, in which an arriving AA plane was forced to divert to Trinidad after the runway lights went down. The airport had installed temporary lights while fixing the problem.

The entire airport, including the runway, is being renovated to the tune of US$150M, with the project dragging on for nine years now.

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