Chief Accident Investigator: Civil Aviation Authority will do parallel investigation on Long Island crash

Chief Accident Investigator: Civil Aviation Authority will do parallel investigation on Long Island crash
A plane crashed in thick bushes shortly after takeoff in Long Island on Sunday claiming the life of one passenger and injuring six others.

Pilot says ill-fated flight was private

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Delvin Major, the Chief Investigator of the Air Accident Investigation Authority, said yesterday the Civil Aviation Authority will assess the certifications of the pilot of the Piper PA-31 that went down in Long Island over the weekend.

“The Civil Aviation Authority are the ones responsible for certification of airlines, certification of pilots, so they will be conducting a parallel investigation along with us,” he told Eyewitness News.

“What they’re looking for is different from what we are looking for.

“We’re just looking to find out what happened. We’re not blaming anybody. We’re looking at what we can do to prevent it from happening again.”

When contacted yesterday and asked whether the flight was private or a charter, the pilot, Bradley McPhee, told Eyewitness News it was a private flight.

Seven people were on board the twin-engine aircraft that went down in bushes approximately two miles from Deadmans Cay Airport on Sunday morning. 

Aleitheia Newbold, a mother of a six-month-old baby, died.

Delvin Major

The flight was heading from Long Island to New Providence.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s online portal, the plane had a valid certificate that was confirmed on March 24, 2022, and was set to expire on March 31, 2025.

According to the portal, the pilot, Bradley McPhee, obtained his Airline Transport Pilot certificate in 2014 and has an Airplane Multiengine Land rating which would make him qualified to fly planes with multiple engines.

Nonetheless, officials will ask the FAA to verify that the information on its website about the pilot is up-to-date and current, Major said.

The website notes that the pilot had a first-class medical.

It identifies the medical date as May 2016.

Investigators will determine whether the flight was for hire or not, among other things.

“The role of determining whether it’s a legal flight or a private flight or a charter flight — that’s the role of the Civil Aviation Authority,” Major said.

Llewellyn Boyer-Cartwright

Attorney and aviation expert, Llewellyn Boyer-Cartwright, meanwhile, said yesterday that the regulatory requirements for a charter operation differ from that of a private operation.

“The difference between a charter operation or a private flight, if it’s a licensed operation, is that although it’s chartered as opposed to scheduled, it is still deemed commercial in nature because the aircraft is licensed by the authority and is overseen by the authority, and the operator is actually transporting passengers for hire or reward, so you pay the charterer for his services,” he said.

“So, one can say that the regulations are stricter when it comes to commercial operations.

“If it’s strictly private, meaning the owner of the aircraft owns the aircraft as anyone would say owns their car, unless you’re licensed, it’s against the law to accept money or have paying passengers.

“It’s strictly for private use, for you, your family, your friend, [and] perhaps your business.

“And if an aircraft is being used for business and it comes under a business expense you’re not charging anyone to board that aircraft, whether it’s just to pay for fuel or any other kind of incidentals or expenses.

“But having said that, private aircraft also fall under the civil aviation regulations.

“It’s just that the nature of the operation and how the regulations are enforced regarding safety, oversight, or any penalties would vary.”


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