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Jun 5, 2015

Civil Aviation Investigates Tropic Air Crash

The Department of Civil Aviation is proceeding with an official probe into a plane crash earlier this week involving a Tropic Air flight en route to the Bay Islands of Honduras.  The investigation is set to continue as soon as the submerged aircraft is removed from the crash site.  To do so requires a joint effort with the Department of the Environment, as well as a salvage company.  On Tuesday evening, a CESSNA-182 single-engine aircraft, piloted by Denfield Borland, flew out of the Phillip Goldson International Airport en route to Roatan when it began experiencing mechanical problems mid-flight.  While Borland was able to relay that information to air traffic control at the P.G.I.A., he was unable to avoid an emergency landing.  The aircraft, along with its pilot and two passengers, Honduran national Eddie Bodden and American national Arthur Rogers, dove into the Caribbean Sea near Lighthouse Reef.  All three survivors escaped unharmed and were later rescued by a search party comprised of coast guard assets and Audubon Society park rangers sitting atop the aircraft.  This afternoon, News Five sat down with Director of Civil Aviation, Lindsay Garbutt, who gave us more information on the inquiry.

 

Lindsay Garbutt

Lindsay Garbutt, Director of Civil Aviation

“We are going through an extremely thorough investigation.  This accident took place, as you know, at Lighthouse Reef, Half Moon Caye, several, many, many miles from Belize.  The airplane is in the water so there is a process that we are looking at now how we salvage this airplane so we can begin that part of our investigation.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What does that entail in terms of either deploying your resources into the area to retrieve the aircraft from the water?  What all does that take logistically or in terms of manpower or what have you?”

 

Lindsay Garbutt

“Well first of all we’re working with the Department of the Environment to make sure and with a salvage company to make sure that the removal causes as little or no damage as possible to the environment.  Once that is done the plane is brought to Belize City and the department then goes through a careful investigation.  We are in contact with the manufacturers and whatever it is that we need to do in terms of the engine so we can get a thorough knowledge of exactly what occurred.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Would this be one of those cases where black box data is required to fully understand what transpired with the actual mechanical failure or what have you?”

 

Lindsay Garbutt

“One of the reasons I said we are working with the manufacturers is that we are going to go through a very thorough process, whatever it is that they advise that is necessary that we can get an understanding of what the causes were we are going to do.”

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