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Airline contemplates legal action against texting pilot

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Airline contemplates legal action against texting pilot

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http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2014/ ... ing-pilot/

Local airline contemplates legal action against texting pilot
APRIL 1, 2014

After statements by passengers on board the Fenix-owned Cessna aircraft which flipped over at Ogle International Airport (OIA) in early January reported that the pilot was using his cell phone during the flight’s take off, the company is now contemplating legal action against the pilot.

Kaieteur News understands that the company, Fenix Airways Inc. has secured the services of Attorney-at-law, Glenn Hanoman, even as initial discussions concern the company’s legal grounding in terms of redress.

When contacted, Hanoman told Kaieteur News that “nothing has been placed before the court as yet.” He said that the company is in the process of discussing its legal position, while it sorts out insurance matters before paying full attention on the possible lawsuit.

Kaieteur News understands further that injured passengers have received monetary compensation, much to their “dissatisfaction”. Phone calls to Fenix’s Administrator and Finance Manager, Eddie Deolall, went unanswered yesterday, but during an earlier conversation, he said that the company was waiting to compensate passengers based on the results of the investigation.

Reports had also surfaced that despite the probe was incomplete, the pilot’s license was returned and he was given clearance to start flying again. Senior aviation officials had expressed dissatisfaction over the matter, and Deolall had made it clear that the pilot was not back on duty with the company.

Aviation officials were also upset at what they alleged was a “cover up” of allegations that the pilot was texting during the interior flight.

Fenix flight Cessna 206 was heading to the Region Eight location of Kato, when, during the take off phase at the OIA, the aircraft veered off the runway, flipped a few times before stopping belly up a few yards away.

One male and two female passengers; including a pregnant woman were on board the flight. The pilot and the pregnant female had to overnight at city health institutions. The aircraft’s occupants all suffered minor injuries.

However, passengers had later reported that the pilot had been using his mobile phone; texting during takeoff. One passenger said that she was seated in the passenger seat next to the pilot and was in full view of what he was doing. Other passengers reportedly gave the same information to investigators. This caused officials of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to request phone records from the Guyana Telegraph and Telephone Company (GTT).

While the information has been submitted to GCAA, Director General, Zulphicar Mohamed maintained in February that the results could not be disclosed since the investigation had not been closed. He had told Kaieteur News also, that after a certain period of time, a pilot’s license could be returned even if investigations were ongoing. However, it was not confirmed whether the pilot was indeed given the go ahead to start back flying. An update from Mohamed last week said that the investigation was still ongoing.

There has been two other plane crashes following the Fenix aircraft; resulting in the death of two persons. None of those investigations, Mohamed said has been concluded.
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