The pilot of the Air Jamaica flight that was forced to make an emergency landing at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) earlier this month, did not declare an emergency, Public infrastructure Minister David Patterson said Monday.
Patterson told the National Assembly that the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is now conducting an independent investigation into the Fly Jamaica flight OJ256 emergency landing on November 9.
He told legislators that the pilot did not declare an emergency, instead, it was reported to air traffic control that there was a hydraulic issue and the flight to Canada would return.
Patterson said that upon landing, based on preliminary reports, all emergency procedures were activated and of the 128 passengers on board, eight of whom were crew members, 10 were transported to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre for medical treatment.
He said the remaining persons were examined at the CJIA. Importantly, the minister said the pilot did not declare an emergency, instead, it was reported to air traffic control that there was a hydraulic issue and the flight will return.
He said crash tenders were immediately deployed to the runway and standby mode activated and that the site was secured by officers from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
Last weekend, one media outlet here reported that an 86-year-old woman may have become the first fatality of the incident.
NEWS SOURCE quoted relatives as saying the passenger, who was in the company of two other relatives heading to Canada, was taken to the private hospital two days after the plane was forced to crash land at the CJIA.
“According to family members, at the hospital, the doctors said there was swelling of her brain and there was not much that they could do to ease the swelling.”
Patterson made no reference to that report in his statement to Parliament.