Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering, under whose purview the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport falls announced that various persons were traumatized by the plane crash that took place on 18 July claiming the life of the pilot who was onboard.
Last week Wednesday 18 July, at approximately 4:17 pm, a Cessna-150 aircraft destined to Pointe a Pitre International Airport in Guadeloupe departed the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport and crashed into the waters off the east north east end of Runway 07 immediately after take-off. According to Aviation Safety Network: “The aircraft experienced a runway overrun at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (TUPJ) and subsequent impact with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean near Trellis Bay, Beef Island. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the sole pilot onboard was fatally injured.”
Hon. Pickering, in a statement following the incident said that the crash took a toll on some persons. According to the Minister the Crisis Intervention Team, led by psychologist Brenda Fahie, had to be activated and deployed to the scene to provide the necessary counselling and psycho-social support to the victim’s loved ones, airport personnel and other rescue personnel who were traumatised by the unfortunate event.
Following the incident Husky Salvage & Towing and Secondman’s Crane & Trucking assisted with the securing of the aircraft and an investigation team from the BVI Airports Authority, in collaboration with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), began to conduct investigations into the cause of the crash.
Subsequently the Air Accident Investigations Board (AAIB) from the United Kingdom was notified. AAIB which is charged with investigating the cause of plane incidents and crashes announced in a statement on 19 July that it would be looking into this matter.
The organization said: “The AAIB is sending a team to investigate an accident involving a light aircraft in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.”
The Air Accident Investigation Branch explained that the visiting team would consider various aspects of the crash. “They examine the physical evidence including both the aircraft and details such as ground marks and collecting fuel samples, and talk to witnesses while their recollection is still fresh.”
“…Our inspectors [will]also gather information that might not be located at the accident scene, such as training records, flight plans, aircraft logs or maintenance records. Flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders are recovered or, for light aircraft accidents, electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and GPS units are taken as they may provide helpful clues to understand what happened and why,” AAIB added.