NASSAU, BAHAMAS – While the Air Accident Investigation Department (AAID) continue to probe a plane crash that took place last November in waters off Nirvana Beach, investigators will complete their preliminary report and make it available to the public in March.
Kendall Dorsett, the operations investigator for the AAID, told Eyewitness News Online that in absence of key components of the aircraft, including the engine, the scope investigation of the investigation and analysis has been limited.
However, he said investigators have ruled out weather as a factor which may have contributed to the crash.
“The investigation is ongoing and we have reviewed aspects relating to weather and we have ruled that out,” Dorsett said.
“…Let me start by saying in the absence of aircraft or major components of the aircraft — engine, airframe etc. — the investigation has sort of been in limited in its analysis phase.
“Subsequently, we have had to rely on other forms of records to compile our investigation and that is ongoing.
“The preliminary report will be made available in March; outlining where we are in the process of the investigation, with the final report to be completed hopefully within a year’s time [of the incident].”
As has been widely reported, Air Traffic Control lost radar contact with the six-seater aircraft flown by captain Byron Ferguson after he reported that he was experiencing difficulties.
The plane plunged into the sea two nautical miles from the airfield at Lynden Pindling International Airport.
A week after the crash, volunteers and civilian divers discovered debris believed to be from the aircraft in waters near the crash area, around a quarter of a mile off Nirvana Beach.
In the days following the crash, the RBDF was widely criticized for its handling of the search efforts.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has promised a full review.
Meanwhile, the Ferguson family continues to search for the aircraft, but has been challenged to raise the necessary funds to acquire a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that can reach depths of up to 10,000 feet.
A GoFundMe page, titled ‘Bring Byron Home’ has raised over $25,000.
Speaking with Eyewitness News Online recently, Ashton Ferguson, Byron’s brother said his family was exploring options, but the proposals to engage an ROV and specialist to operate the equipment has been in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to Dorsett, if any additional debris or otherwise is found at any point in time the investigation will be reopened and reviewed.