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Jun 5, 2015

Pilot and Passengers Questioned in Investigation

Lindsay Garbutt

On Wednesday morning, all three men were returned to the mainland after spending the night at Blackbird Caye.  They were then summoned by the Department of Civil Aviation to assist with a preliminary investigation.  According to Garbutt, the accounts provided by the pilot and his passengers seem to check out, however, they are conducting an in depth review of the incident to determine the cause of the mechanical failure.


Lindsay Garbutt, Director of Civil Aviation

“Based on the information we got there was nothing conflicting.  But like I say, we cannot afford, as a department, to just listen to what even the pilot or the passenger said.  Our responsibility is to look at the factors or the information that we get after we look at the engines then we put that along with what the witnesses say and then we come up with some sort of a report.”


Isani Cayetano

“Finally, in the context of air traffic safety, what does this mean in terms of people who would either be fearful of flying as a result of what has happened or people who have genuine concerns with regards to the type of aircrafts that are being made available for air commute?”


Lindsay Garbutt

“You know there was an accident.  We think the pilot did an excellent job of bringing that plane down.  His passengers were safe, they were taken out of the plane and they swam to an island.  There were no fatalities.  Like I say, the only comparison I can draw again is that two accidents, almost three hundred thousand operations and if you want to compare that to driving a car then the safety record of flying is better.  In other words, you are safer flying based on the record right now than you are driving on the highway or than you are as a manatee just swimming in the waters of Belize.  So our job as a department, like I say, is to critically look at the evidence, not preempt the investigation but go where the investigation takes us.”


Tropic Air issued a release on their Facebook page, but did not provide interviews to the media.

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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