Emergency landing at airport

| 03/06/2009

(CNS): Updated 6:30 pm Thursday 4 June –-The Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA) has this evening confirmed that a cargo plane made an emergency landing this afternoon at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) just before 3pm. All airport emergency services were put on standby and the IFL aircraft, which was sub- contracted to Cayman Airways, landed without incident. It is understood that the emergency was triggered as a result of landing gear problems on the aircraft. Meanwhile, two CAL pilots suspended over a low fly incident earlier this year are now back on the job.

Two of Cayman Airways pilots had been suspended over a low fly display during the retirement of one of the flag carrier’s planes. The incident was captured on film and an investigation was instigated by the airline about whether safety regulations had been breached.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) said on Thursday 4 June that it has completed its investigation into the reported low fly-by conducted with a Cayman Airways aircraft (Boeing 737-200) at the Owen Roberts International Airport on January 23, 2009 which confirmed that the aircraft was operated below the minimum altitude prescribed. It said it had identified deficiencies in Cayman Airways’ flight operations authorisation procedures, and air traffic control procedures at the Cayman Islands Airports Authority. 

As a result, CAACI said that the organizations involved have amended their respective procedures to mitigate against this type of occurrencehappening again. It said that the Air Traffic Controller’s licence was reinstated without condition and the licenses of the pilots concerned were reinstated following their compliance with requisite CAACI directives.




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  1. Yikes! says:



    Just read the above re the loss in cabin pressure in a Cayman Airways flight last week. Thank God for the pilot.  The Airline’s spokepersons are not really forthcoming with any information which makes situations like this escalate way out of control because rumours and misinformation take over. I must say this makes me extremely uncomfortable and if there are problems with these planes lets not cover up the issue but deal with it. The loss of even one life is way too much if it could have been avoided and not the fault of poor management!!

    Enough about the low flyby I think we have debated that issue to death.`

  2. G. Brust says:

    Just wondering what the problem is with doing a low approach.  This procedure is completely legal in the U.S.  I can see that to the untrained eye this may have appeared to be particularly dangerous, however, with radar altimeter information and competent cockpit resource management, this is not unsafe.  If any of you have seen a C-130 do a pallet drop you know that close proximity to the runway is required to accomplish the drop with the cargo intact. Just because the B737 did not have gear down does not mean there was a real danger in contacting the runway assuming adequate airspeed and attitude.  Ground effect has a powerful induced drag reduction which makes control surfaces even more effective within the 1/2 to 1 wingspan this aircraft appears to be operating within.  This should be a non-violation if no speed or other regulations were violated. 

    • Anonymous says:

      To: "Just wondering what is wrong with doing a low fly by":  You are either a pilot, a pilot’s family member or their lawyers (or both), or the idiot that approved it.  Let me show you once again, why a low fly by is abolutely not worth the risk.  See link below. Maybe the pilots think it is a great high for them, but the public and property should not be risked for their "high".  I also think the CAA was rather lenient with these guys (probably not wishing to destroy the pilots’ livelihoods).  Sounds like you all owe them big time! 


  3. Anonymous says:

    "Do you honestly think the pilots are going to do a fly by while you are sitting on their flight! "

    That’s not the point -the behaviour is reckless in the extreme, irrespective of who is on the plane.  A crash would:

    • quite possibly kill the pilots;
    • destroy the plane;
    • lead to a massive insurance claim which likely would be denied given the mode of operation of the aircraft with the apparent consent of the airline;
    • lead to a claim by the owner of the aircraft, if it is leased;
    • destroy Cayman Airway’s reputation, and probably the company;
    • possibly kill or injure bystanders;
    • destroy whatever the plane lands on;
    • brutalize our already weakened tourism industry;
    • and so on…

    Seriously: this is a jet aircraft flying in Cayman airspace, not some guy tooling around on his hopped-up Seadoo!  Flying a 737 passenger jet is a serious business, restricted to serious professionals.  Seriously.

    Think of it another way: if I ran my pick-up truck at 100 miles per hour down the road, would you say it was OK just because there was no one else in the vehicle?  Of course not, because I might very well kill or injure other people or cause severe property damage when I crash.  JUST LIKE THE PILOTS were risking other people’s property, lives, livelihoods, industries and businesses when they did this. 

    Do we really want people with that kind of poor judgment operating a jet aircraft filled with our friends, family, and the tourists we rely on? 

    You say "get over it", I say "get a grip".  Who keeps a pilot with professional judgment like this?

  4. Alan Partridge says:

    To the previous poster telling people to GET OVER IT;

    Imagine that the plane had clipped the ground, and then went sliding across the runway through the perimeter fence and into the road where it hit a car, in that car were your children, no all burnt up and unrecognisable as you bury them.  The kerosene peeling the skin from their faces and burning limbs until there’s little more than bones left.

    Would you be able to GET OVER THAT?

  5. Anonymous says:

    To the poster at on Thu, 06/04/2009 – 13:28. – You do that my dear! You go to the counter and change your flight time and pay that CI$50 to CAL! They need all the financial assistance they can get! I wonder if you think you’re hurting these two men by changing your flight time! All your doing is help pay their salary! Give someone else a chance to get on that flight that might be in more need of it than you and give yourself more headaches by being so SILLY! Do you honestly think the pilots are going to do a fly by while you are sitting on their flight! GET REAL and stop being so silly! You’re not hurting anyone but your own pocket and your not making an example of anyone except yourself!

    GET OVER IT!!!!! It’s like beating a dead horse now!!

  6. Expat...(rolled over) says:

    I have worked in the airline business for more than 20 years, and I have NEVER felt anything less than totally SAFE with Cayman Airways. Their pilots have always been concientious and also I appreciate their warm information "chats" after takeoff…….explaining with great enthusiasm where the aircraft is, how high, how fast, etc.etc. Most pilots do this, but not with the warmth and friendliness that KX pilots do. I LOVE these guys, feel warm and safe with them. Obviously, horrible accidents can and do happen, but with these chaps I am sure that it is LESS likely to happen………….God bless, keep you safe, and thank you, Cayman Airways.

  7. Bob says:

    To answer to Mr. Anonymous below: No, I don’t work for CAL, but you must be a manager!

    I think it’s a pretty well known fact that politics are the source of many problems at CAL. Here is an airline whose appointed board members don’t have any airline experience and change with every new election. The last chairman was a lawyer!

    There’s also many managerial positions filled by individuals who lack the required skills but are chosen simply because they have been in the company for a long time. This create all sort of inefficienties and problems that are difficult to resolve, especially when those managers are politically connected and reluctant to change.

    Granted, there are good people at CAL, but in the tangled mess of politics their hands are often tied. It takes ages for any decisions to be taken, and then just as long to action it, or is often reversed after causing too much stir.


  8. Anonymous says:

    This horse has been dead so long why do we have to keep beating it. This was investigated and those involved have returned to work so lets move on. There are alot of issues to discuss affecting the Cayman Islands so lets get a new topic.

  9. annoymous says:

    I agree, whenever I travel on CAL now and I hear either of those two are the pilots.  I go to the counter in the departure lounge and ask to have my ticked changed to a later flight.  Yeah, I have paid for the change, but $50 is better than flying with too ignorant, ruthless, flyboys who don’t have any concern for their actions and how incredibly stupid they were.

    I support CAL but not these two pilots.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sure hope that the two pilots set a precedent and if it ever happens again, just FIRE THEM ON THE SPOT which I understand happens elsewhere!  It was not just that they would have smashed into the tarmac, if you look at the pictures, they were going TOWARDS GEORGE TOWN!  What kind of damage can a 737 have done if it had slid all the way into town?  Yes, those two also have families to feed, so they should have considered everybody else instead of themselves and if they want to be cowboys and risk killing themselves, then by all means simply ride a ride a motorcycle at 150 mph and try there, NOT WITH PUBLIC PROPERTY that does not belong to them.  If there had been an accident, the whole country could go bankrupt, not to mention, deaths, reputation, etc.  By the way, sources also say, that they did not exactly get "cleared of wrong doing".  Media should dig dipper into that and not let it go so easily. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m not concerned about the nationality of the pilots, but from an objective observer’s perspective this looks downright unsafe.  A slight downdraft could easily push this plane into the ground, and there would be no time whatsoever for the pilot to react.  I have nothing against traditions or a (safe) retirement fly-by, but in my opinion this goes too far. 

    Imagine, amongst the other horrors, the damage to the reputation of the Cayman Islands if our national carrier made front pages internationally for slamming a passenger jet into the tarmac while the hot-dog pilot was having a jolly.  The fact that they are back flying raises serious concerns regarding CAL’s commitment, or lack thereof, to safety.

    What were they thinking with this performance?

  12. Anonymous says:

    To All you NEGATIVE NAY SAYERS! GET OVER IT ALREADY!! No one died thank God!! No one else but the 2 pilots were on the plane at the time! There is no cover up! The two pilots are well trained capable pilots! AND YES CAYMANIANS! Didn’t realize It was suddenly a problem to be a Caymanian pilot!!!! But it seems like it’s turning out to be a problem to be a Caymanian period these days!!!! I am glad they are back to work as they have families to feed as well!If they had done this with a plane full of people I would say shame on you! But that was NOT THE CASE! Furthermore, why aren’t you negative nasty people ripping apart all of the other pilots that have performed this same maneuver here in Cayman? Get over your SELF-RIGHTEOUS selves! Because I’m sure if all of you who are posting negative comments about these two men looked in your own shady backgrounds, you all would have ALOT that you wouldn’t want people to know about or reprimand you for!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      It absolutely beside the point if the pilots were Caymanian or not, however if they were in fact as well trained and capable as you mentioned, they certainly didn’t show that with this stunt that Day! Yes luckely nobody was hurt, but the fact remains that have ignored and violated all kind of Safety Regulations buttom-line! As mentioned before other Airlines would have dismissed those two Pilots no matter what nationality they are. The least what CAA and CAL should have done was to demote the two for a few years, I rest my case!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are a little late in realising it is a problem to be a Caymanian, but of course, it is only a problem in Cayman.  Thank God we have very capable Caymanian pilots because Cayman Airways has never had a crash and only one  incident of overshooting the runway.  I would fly with the Caymanian pilots over any other nationality any day.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I guess that "Not surprised to learn Bob" works at Cayman Airways to be making such comments about lack of competent managers at the top. And what exactly is the "real" problem at Cayman Airways – fill us in please.


  14. Anonymous says:

    Fanstastic! Glad to hear that everything worked out OK.  

    But please note that the official (IATA) code for Owen Roberts International Airport is GCM and not ORIA.  I mention this mostly for the benefit of your international readers who may wish to visit our islands. "GCM" is the correct code to enter for the destinationairport  when booking your travel online.

    Have a nice day!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Would those two Pilots worked for any other international Airline they would be looking for jobs today! Stunts such as the one they did are not tolarated in other parts of the world. The Capt. in particular showed that he is certainly not near ready to be in charge of an Aircraft. If he likes to "hot dog" and low altitude flying he should fly a Crop duster instead of a Passenger Aircraft!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Praise the Lord nobody was injured.

  17. Bob says:

    Not surprised to learned that the two pilots are back at work. The CAA and CAL just pushed the matter under the rug discretly.

    But after all, the real problems at CAL come from a lack of competent managers at the top. From an outsider’s point of view, it may look as if CAL is operating normally on a daily basis. However the truth is that no one is really in charge or giving the airline a direction in this mess of politics and personal ambitions that plague CAL.