Thursday, January 28, 2016

Piper PA-32-300, N70746, Wings of Hope: Incident occurred January 28, 2016 at Punta Gorda Airport, Belize

Wings of Hope Pilot Dodges Dog and Crash Lands 

“Reports here indicated that the BERT air ambulance was landing at about 2:50 am on the air strip when the accident happened as explained by pilot (James Mallet)”

PILOT:   “I was on the approach to the Punta Gorda airport and we were getting ready to touch down and I saw the dog on the right side of the runway. I pulled the nose of the airplane and added some power to miss the dog not knowing where the dog went and started my flare to land then I felt a thump and the airplane veered a little bit to the left and then it started sliding down the runway on its wing and two landing gears. I got control of the airplane in front of the operation offices and the airplane span around off the runway and came to a halt in a safe position the only damage was to the airplane and the dog.”

PAUL MAHUNG:  “From your landing at the Punta Gorda airstrip is the first experience of seeing dogs on the airstrip or could you account for other?”

PILOT:  “The other EMT with me probably a month ago had the same thing happen.”

PAUL MAHUNG:  “What will be next for the plane? Will it eventually be removed or what could you comment on it?”

PILOT:  “Civil aviation has to come down and evaluate the situation and they would decide since the airport is not closed since the airplane is not on the runway they can operate the airport and they could move my airplane when it’s convenient and safe.”


“Pilot James Mallet was accompanied on the plane by BERT EMT Daniska Larius who both alighted quickly and safely from the plane as it halted with its left wing scraping and resting on the airstrip. With the left wheel of the plane broken off a distance away at the northern section of the airstrip persons who were at the airstrip at the time of the incident complimented the efforts of pilot James who was able to keep the plane on the pathway of the airstrip as it sped on two wheels can came to a halt without major damages to the plane and avoiding hitting the nearby Tropic Air office. An official report here indicated that the BERT Air Ambulance had come to Punta Gorda to airlift a baby who needed further medical treatment outside of Punta Gorda.”

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