July 2, 2004
Airport official: We don’t speculate!

by Ashford Peters

Deputy Director of Airports, Joel Jack has stated categorically that there is no room for speculation in an aircraft mishap.
“In terms of an accident, we don’t speculate at all”, Jack stated at a press briefing at the E.T. Joshua Airport Wednesday afternoon. {{more}}
Jack’s comment’s came almost two hours after a Barbados -based Trans Island Air twin otter aircraft 8P-MLK, almost ended up on the Arnos Vale highway.
Jack told reporters that aircraft incidents must be investigated thoroughly by the relevant authorities before any conclusion is arrived at.
He explained that if there is suspicion of criminal elements then the police must investigate. But, where there is an incident that is purely accidental then airport authorities will be responsible for the investigations.
Jack said he could not comment on the possible cause of the mishap though he did confirm that the 19 seater plane came in on a charter flight around midday and was about to take off around 1.00 p.m. the craft was scheduled to leave for Canouan as Trans Island flight 606 with three crew members aboard.
He said “the pilot taxied up the runway and on take off the aircraft veered off towards the right, away from the centre line, ending up in the storm drain” near the perimeter fence.
However one eyewitness said he heard a loud explosion then saw the aircraft swing sharply to the right off the runway eventually crashing into the protective fence adjacent the highway opposite the Sunrise Supermarket car park.
Jack said the Directorate of Civil Aviation based in Antigua, will investigate the incident.
According to the Airport’s Deputy Director, the airport was closed to traffic until 2.35 p.m., affecting a LIAT and a Caribbean Star flight.