CAL tackles technical issues after planes’ return

| 14/02/2011

(CNS): In two separate incidents Cayman Airways flights returned to Grand Cayman after take-off last week as a result of technical problems, the airline has stated. On Friday KX880, which departed Grand Cayman at 9:30am for La Ceiba, Honduras, returned to the airport shortly after take-off because the captain detected some vibration from the nose landing gear tyres during the take-off process. On Thursday flight KX200 from Grand Cayman to Tampa was returned to the airport to conduct repairs to the faulty indicating system, the airline added. CAL said the events were unrelated and infrequent in nature but in both instances the safety of airline operations was the first priority.

“Cayman Airways has an ongoing commitment to ensure the complete safety and comfort of our passengers,” said the airline’s CEO Fabian Whorms. “The precautionary actions taken by our flight crews in returning to the departure airport rather than continuing flight is testament to that commitment.”

In Thursday’s incident the airline revealed that the aircraft returned to Cayman and landed without incident shortly after take-off on its planned journey to Tampa. CAL said it was not an emergency and the return to Owen Roberts International Airport was normal and uneventful. “The aircraft was removed from service in order to conduct repairs to the faulty indicating system and the passengers were transferred to a different aircraft, departing within one and a half hours of the original scheduled departure time,” the airline stated.

Meanwhile, on Friday, after feeling the vibrations flight crew requested ground emergency response services be on standby during their landing. “The aircraft landed without incident and inspections by the airline confirmed that while both nose wheel tyres maintained their structural integrity, a partial tread loss on one of the nose wheel tyres was the cause of the vibration,” CAL explained. Both nose wheel tyres were replaced and CAL is now investigating the cause of the partial tread loss. The flight was rescheduled and departed approximately three and a half hours later.

“We apologize for the inconvenience to the affected passengers and sincerely appreciate their patience and understanding as we ensure their complete safety,” Whorms added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As a regular KX passenger, this alarms me.  Checking the nose wheel and condition of tread wear is part of the routine pre-flight checklist that the Captain would have signed off on before backing away from the gate.  All tires should be replaced at regular scheduled intervals.  I hope Cayman Airways is not just going through the motions on critical maintenance and servicing.  Unless there was a foreign object on the runway that pierced the tire (which should have prompted a runway closure), a potential delamination or a thread-bare tire should have been discovered many flights prior tothe failure described.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Life isn’t that simple.

      The walk round may reveal nothing then the tyre throws a bit of tread during take off or landing – it happens. It wasn’t, as you suggest, a catastrophic failure.

      That it was spotted and dealt with so efficiently speaks volumes for CAL’s safety standards.

      The fact it was such a rare occurance tends to disprove you concerns.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a good call in both cases and full credit to CAL for releasing the details.

    Pity some other airlines (BA in particular) aren’t so forthcoming when things go wrong.