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Jun 2, 2015

Tropic Air Plane Goes Down

A Tropic Air craft plunged into the Caribbean Sea today. On board were the pilot and two passengers, who are tonight lucky to be alive after the aircraft went down near Half Moon Caye shortly before five o’clock this evening.  Captain Denfield Borland, along with Honduran national Eddie Bodden and American national Arthur Rogers, was en route to Roatan, Honduras after departing from the Phillip Goldson International Airport when the CESSNA-182 single-engine airplane began experiencing mechanical difficulties.  The light utility aircraft went down shortly thereafter in the vicinity of Half Moon Caye and a daring maritime search and rescue operation, led by the Belize National has resulted in the safe recovery of the pilot and the two passengers.  News Five spoke by phone with Commander Elton Bennett shortly after receiving word of the downed aircraft.


On the Phone: Elton Bennett, Commander, Belize National Coast Guard

“At about 16:45 this evening we received information that a small Tropic aircraft went down somewhere between the Turneffe and Lighthouse Reef atolls.  The coordinates were sent to us and we charted a location and found it to be about fourteen miles east of our base at Calabash Caye and about four and a half miles northwest of Half Moon Caye where there is a joint coastguard and park rangers from the Audubon Society station.  We immediately deployed our search units from both locations and just now, at about five minutes ago, at about 5:15, the team from the Lighthouse Reef and Half Moon Caye rescued the three men from off the plane that was still afloat and took them into Half Moon Caye.  Our plans at this time is to have a vessel, a coastguard vessel transport those survivors from the rescue operation into Belize City.”


Elton Bennett

Isani Cayetano

“Can you confirm whether or not the passengers were tourists or are they Belizean nationals?”


Elton Bennett

“At this point I really cannot confirm, I don’t have that detail at hand.  All I know is that there were three persons were onboard and three persons were rescued.”


Isani Cayetano

“Is the pilot among those three individuals?”


Elton Bennett

“Yes, the pilot is a part of the three persons accounted for.”


Isani Cayetano

“Has he mentioned anything to the rescue operators as to what kind of problems he was experiencing?”


Elton Bennett

“Isani, at this time that’s all the information I have, I just received thus about thirty seconds before you called me.  I still have not informed anybody else so please just give me a little more time so I can coordinate with the other agencies that are assisting with the search and then I could get you more details.  At this time I don’t have any of that information and the operation is still ongoing.  The survivors are still on the vessel being transported from the crash site to Half Moon Caye so I need to stand down some search units, some aircrafts that were deployed to assist with the search and inform the other relative authorities.  So just give me a few more minutes for me to do some more coordination.”


News Five also contacted Tropic president, John Greif the Third, who told us that they have not been able to determine the value of the lost aircraft. On December fourth, 2014 a single engine Tropic Air plane crash landed on arrival at the Belize Municipal Airport. There were no injuries to the passengers or the pilot. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Tropic Air Plane Goes Down”

  1. Sonya says:

    Please throe away those old planes and by new ones Tropic.

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