Flamingo Air pilots reinstated after “competency” concerns

Flamingo Air pilots reinstated after “competency” concerns
Flamingo Air's Beechcraft 99 aircraft crashed into bushes at the Black Point Airport in Exuma on December 1.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Two Flamingo Air pilots were suspended and required to be evaluated following a crash landing at the Black Point Airport in Exuma last December.

Both pilots demonstrated proficiency and have been allowed to resume flight duties, according to the Air Accident Investigation Department’s (AAID),

In its accident report, released over the weekend, the AAID noted proactive measures were taken by the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority.

The twin-engine aircraft, which departed from New Providence plunged into more than 20 feet of bushes before coming to a halt on December 1, 2019.

Eleven passengers were on board the plane.

There were no injuries reported.

However, the aircraft sustained damage to the right wing, trailing and leading edges, right propeller, right main gear and fuselage.

The AAID said weather conditions were not a factor in the accident.

“In the aftermath of this accident, the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) took immediate action by suspending both crew members until an evaluation of airmen competency could be completed,” the report said.

“Both crew members were assessed by the BCAA in commercial flight procedures with an emphasis on standard operating procedures for landing and after demonstrating proficiency were allowed to resume flight duties.”

In its report, the AAID said the right main wheels of the Beechcraft 99 made contact with an unusable, exposed portion of the runway while landing around 8.45am.

This led to the collapse of the right main gear and subsequent runway excursion.

“Given the speed of the aircraft at the time of the touch down the right main landing gear collapsed after striking the exposed surface,” the AAID said.

“The disabled aircraft traveled an additional distance of approximately 1,527 feet down the runway before exiting the runway and coming to a stop approximately 20 feet in bushes lining the side of the runway.”

The AAID said as the authority was proactive in removing the crew from active duty and required them to undergo a reexamination for their airmen skills and proficiency, it had no further recommendations.

“Based on the circumstances of the occurrence, pilot competency was in question,” the department said.

“This concern was satisfied by actions taken by the BCAA.”

Last month, a Flamingo Air aircraft’s landing gear collapsed while taxiing to the ramp area, shortly after landing at the Leonard Thompson International Airport in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.

There were nine passengers on board and one pilot.

According to the AAID’s report, which was released over the weekend, the Cessna 402 aircraft sustained the damage after “falling in a pot hole on the maneuvering surface area” at the airport.

The department identified the state of the taxiway as a serious safety hazard due to “various potholes of varying size and depth”, which it said poses a “potential danger to any aircraft unfortunate to fall in any”.

It said both the Family Island Airport Division, which has charge of the operation of the Family Island airports, and the BCAA were aware of the deteriorating conditions of aerodrome previously and were addressing issues.

The department said it was advised that efforts were being coordinated with the Ministry of Works for resurfacing the area and it would follow up until the identified hazards had been addressed.