Aircraft crash lands at TB Lettsome International Airport

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Aircraft crash lands at TB Lettsome International Airport

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Dec 07, 2012

http://www.virginislandsnewsonline.com/ ... al-airport

Aircraft crash lands at TB Lettsome International Airport
- Flight was reportedly coming from Anegada at the time of incident
December 6th, 2012
    • Image
      An airline was forced to crash land one of its aircraft at the TB Lettsome airport due to difficulties experienced with its landing gear. Photo: Team of Reporters
BEEF ISLAND, VI

Information just reaching this news site from our team of reporters is that a local airline was forced to crash land one of its aircraft at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport around 4 P.M. today, December 6, 2012 due to difficulties experienced with its landing gear.

According to information received, the aircraft is a small Cessna aeroplane belonging to VI Airlink and one of its three landing gears failed during an attempt to land.

Sources revealed that the aircraft, which was coming in from Anegada at the time, was forced to circle for almost an hour in the air before a decision was finally taken to make a crash landing after the lack of fuel became an issue.

Two persons, including the pilot, were reportedly aboard the aircraft at the time of landing.

While the runway is said to be off limits currently, there have been no reports of any injuries. No information on the extent of the damages suffered by the aircraft has been received so far.

Details are sketchy at the moment and Virgin Islands News Online will continue to work on this story to bring you further information.

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http://www.virginislandsnewsonline.com/ ... sh-landing

UPDATE: Neville C. Brathwaite Jr recounts moment of “crash landing”
- In-depth Investigations ongoing over alleged installation of faulty landing gear
December 24th, 2012
  • Image
    Neville C. Brathwaite Jr. perused most of the report with this news agency as testimony and documented facts of the startling discovery of the installation of a faulty landing gear which resulted in a forced crash landing at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on December 6, 2012. Photo:VINO
BEEF ISLAND, VI

Uncertain of the details, several rumors and speculations swept throughout the Territory following a forced “crash landing” at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on December 6, 2012 but today finally the truth of what occurred on that day has been revealed exclusively to Virgin Islands News Online by the pilot on board the aircraft at the time- Neville C. Brathwaite Jr.
The first thing that was revealed is that the 1979 aircraft was being operated by Del Air.

The bottom line, Mr Brathwaite Jr. noted, points to the installation of a faulty landing gear allegedly by an Anguillan firm and which has since resulted in in-depth investigations.

“All the talk that there were passengers on board and all sorts of things were totally far from the truth. The truth lies in the real reason why we do maintenance, the main reason which mechanics and engineers do test flights,” Mr Brathwaite told this news site.

The young pilot added that the aircraft was being maintained in Anguilla. “They had the landing gears out last year (2011) and we knew that in the records, we did our own landing gears swings and everything worked fine but that day we were just testing, we had just installed a stall kit to take the aircraft into Virgin Gorda so it was a maintenance test flight.”

At the time there were only two persons aboard the aircraft, Pilot/engineer Neville Brathwaite Jr. and a mechanic who is the younger Braithwaite and student pilot. “All sorts of things you were hearing, that they had passengers on board, all sort of things.” he said.

“When we went to put down the landing gears one of the landing gears wouldn’t come down.” Del Air has since taken control from the Anguillan Company. Upon careful investigations which necessitated the removal of the landing gears, it was discovered that the landing gear had shifted. Further investigations have also revealed that the particular landing gear was, as was installed by the other company was faulty, this news site was further told.

Brathwaite Jr. perused most of the report with this news agency as testimony and documented facts of the startling discovery of the installation of a faulty landing gear. “The investigation is still going on to find out as to where the gear came from because the maintenance shop is saying that the landing gear was not from them.”

As part of the core investigations, the plane was stripped and the landing gear was shipped to the USA where according to Braithwaite, it was processed and that aspect of the report in their possession. “That is why we could say something now but we still have some other investigations going on.”

According to a letter of report, which this news site was provided with as prepared by Kevin Allen of the Aviation Group Inc, C.R.S #VGOR728L, Peachtree City, Georgia 30269, the stunt that was installed in the aircraft might have been involved in a major accident prior. The report is quoted, "This letter is concerning the LH MLG Strut Assembly removed from the Cessna 402C-0115. This Strut has excessive damage that includes the upper Turnnion and barrel, upper and lower Torque Links, and Lower Strut Assembly. In my professional opinion I believe this strut was involved in a major accident/incident before it was installed on 402C-0115. Due to the fact that the Upper/Lower Torque Links and the Lower Barrel are bent, this damaged was not incurred by a hard landing. I will work to assist you in anyway necessary to deal with these issues. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns." The report was addressed to V.I Airlink/Clair Aero, Terrence B. Lettsome Airport, Beef Island, B.V.I, VG1120 and was dated December 19, 2012.

Brathwaite Jr. says himself and others of Del Air are physically involved in the current repairs of the aircraft. Since the incident, the responsibility for the repairs and maintenance of the air craft has been returned to Del Air.

While there was not much that could have been disseminated to the media owing to the fact that the investigations are in its infancy stages, Virgin Islands News Online spoke to the pilot about the emotional state during the perceived ordeal. “Well what we did was to stick to normal procedure and prepare for a faulty landing or crash landing and people call it.”

He said himself and younger brother did not exhibit any level of anxiety at the time but rather, “We did just what we were trained to do.” He added, “I didn’t feel any negative, I trust in God and at the same time there was no pilot that was born as a good pilot it comes from training,” something that has been very regular and upgraded for Brathwaite.

He has been in the profession for some eighteen (18) years, “So these are some of the things that we are trained for,” he confidently stated. “We just went through the procedures of the training that we go through every six months because we are trained in emergencies and these things every six months.”

“It has brought us closer, we are always a closely knitted family so I don’t know how much closer it could get, but the experience did indeed brought us closer,” the pilot said while responding to the question of the emotional effect of the crash landing, which occurred while the two brothers were the lone occupants of the aircraft at the time.

After safely landing and realizing that they had averted the worse, their physical reaction was, “We were like ok, we got it on the ground and we did what we were trained to do,” recollected Brathwaite Jr.

With the festive season being ripe at this time, repair works to the aircraft has grinded to a near total halt. However, it is anticipated that come early January 2013 work will be back in full swing... and once all goes well we hope to have the aircraft ready,” said Brathwaite Jr.

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