Maya Island Air Cessna Flight two, twenty-two with seven passengers on board was forced to abort its flight and make an emergency landing at the Municipal Airstrip just a couple minutes after it took off en route to San Pedro on Thursday evening.
We’ve been following the reports since Thursday night, but were only able to make confirmation this morning as investigators from the Department of Civil Aviation examined the aircraft behind a cluster of hangars.
According to officials from Maya Island Air via press release, the aircraft operated by Chief Pilot Ali Urbina took off at five-forty-five P.M., at which time Urbina detected a “power performance anomaly and decided to abort his flight.” His return was clocked in at five-forty-eight P.M.
While the release from Maya Island Air doesn’t say so, News Five has confirmed that Urbina was forced to land on the incomplete runway which is under construction and lined with heavy machinery including steamrollers.
Late this evening we managed to reach Chief Operations Officer of the Department of Civil Aviation Nigel Carter via phone.
On the Phone: Nigel Carter, Chief Operations Officer
“Yesterday at around 6:35 in the evening we received reports of an aircraft that made an emergency landing at the Municipal Airport. The aircraft’s nationality registration marks are V3-HHA or what we would commonly refer to as Hotel Hotel Alpha. The aircraft is a Cessna 208 operated by Maya Island Air. It carried one pilot and seven passengers. It is understood that the aircraft departed from the Municipal Airport en route to San Pedro and experienced what is assumed to be some difficulty with the engine. The aircraft then…the pilot elected to land the aircraft at the Municipal Airport. He made the landing and there were no injuries or damage to the aircraft reported. We have since yesterday been working with the operator in an investigation of the incident. We will first evaluate the severity of the incident, and based on that it will dictate the steps that we need to take in the execution of the investigation. We will take a look at the aircraft itself and if necessary we will work with other agencies in determining what might be the root cause of the incident.”
The release from Maya Island Air states that the seven passengers boarded another flight and were in San Pedro before six-thirty.
Unofficially, we’re told that the aircraft experienced what is called a runaway engine, meaning that the engine revs uncontrollably and red-lines. Again unofficially, we are told that when that happens, an immediate landing is imperative since a runaway engine will fail completely in a matter of minutes.
Read the original article on Channel5Belize.