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Jun 17, 1999

Cause of B.D.F. Defender crash determined

In October a B.D.F. Defender crash landed near Indian Church Village in the Orange Walk District. Eight months later the Ministry of National Security has released the findings of the investigation into the cause of the disaster. The inquiry revealed that there was multiple engine failure due to a lack of fuel. Although there are four tanks aboard the aircraft, both engines were being fed from one tank and the fuel ran out about 45 minutes into the flight. Since the aircraft was flying at a low altitude, the inquiry determined that the pilot Second Lieutenant Jose Lopez did not have enough time to switch over to another tank to correct the problem and crash-landed the plane. He and three other military passengers escaped without injury. However, the Ministry says they will be forwarding the findings to the Solicitor General Gian Ghandi for advice about possible disciplinary proceedings against the pilot. The aircraft sustained irreparable structural damage.

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