Preliminary Report is out:
St. John’s Antigua- A combination of engine failure and tainted fuel have been blamed for Sunday’s deadly Fly Montserrat crash, a preliminary report revealed.
The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) reported, “examination of the wreckage showed the right hand engine was not producing power at the time of impact. Investigation of the fuel system showed contamination with significant quantities of water.”
One aviation industry expert explained while all fuel contains some amount of water, there was too much in the tank of the doomed plane.
This water, the source said, would have gone to the engine instead of gas, thus, the engine would stop.
The aircraft needs both engines, located on the two sides of the plane, for take off, the source indicated.
Explaining how water could have gotten into the tank, the expert cited several reasons.
“It could be that the fuel tank cap on the wing was not properly sealed; not properly installed or it was leaky for a range of other reasons. It could have also occurred during refuelling if there was rain, but that is unlikely,” the individual noted.
The source said the company’s records and even interviews with other pilots who commanded the doomed aircraft could help determine the exact cause of the fuel contamination.
He said pre-flight inspections are usually done to see whether water is in the fuel.
Additional preliminary findings in the ECCAA report indicated the right propellor was not feathered.
This, another expert said, is either done automatically based on the type of aircraft or has to be done manually by the pilot to create “drag” on the side of the aircraft with the failed engine.
The report, available on The Aviation Herald website further indicated that VP
, flight 107 titled to the right shortly after take off at the VC
Bird International Airport and stopped climbing while moving right.
As a result the Britten Norman (BN) Islander aircraft lost height and crashed to the ground, right wing first, at low forward speed.
It then cartwheeled before coming to a rest in an upright position, the ECCAA reported.
“The fuselage section forward of the wing was destroyed and the rest of the aircraft sustained comparatively less damage,” the report noted.
Airportdata.com reports the aircraft, built in 1969 as an Islander BN2A, was modified to a BN2A‑26, which gave it a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 6,600 pounds, and a maximum landing weight (MLW) of 6,300 pounds.
While, the Flight Safety Foundation said the aircraft was powered by two Lycoming 0-540 Piston engines and could have carried up to 10 people including the pilot.
The 31-year-old UK-born pilot, Captain Jason Forbes died on the spot in the crash and so did passenger Annya Duncan, 27, of Jamaica.
Another passenger, Sandrama Poligadu, 57 of Guyana died shortly after arrival at Mount St John’s Medical Centre.
The sole survivor of the accident, Michael Hudson of the UK, is said to have seen trouble was ahead due to the movement of the aircraft and he reportedly blacked out just before it smashed into the ground.
Forbes, the ECCAA report said, had a total of 710 hours on his Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and 510 hours on type rating.
ECCAA officials assisted the UK’s Air Accident Investigative Branch,which probes such accidents in British Overseas Territories.
Meantime, head of the ECCAA Donald McPhail confirmed the preliminary report was submitted to the Civil Aviation Ministry here, but declined to discuss the findings. And, oversight officer within that ministry, Peter Abraham said, “Once we have it in our hands and we’ve studied it, the necessary release would be made to the media at a press conference.”
Interesting. Once I have a full copy I will post. As stated before there was significant RAIN here before the crash.