CAL lauds pilots in recent flight incident

| 10/06/2009

(CNS): Cayman Airways confirmed today that a standard internal investigation into the incident on 3 June aboard flight KX107 bound for Grand Cayman from Miami, found the abnormality was caused by a pressurization malfunction while at a cruising altitude of 33,000 feet.  The airline said that due to the numerous redundant systems in place on all Cayman Airways aircrafts, at no time was flight 107 in danger. 

CEO Designate of the airline, Olson Anderson applauded thepilots for their professional behavior.

CAL said the crew followed standard procedures for this particular situation and the captain chose to descend slowly to a lower altitude of approximately 10,000 feet as a precautionary measure for the remainder of the flight. “The descent took about 20 minutes to reach 10,000 feet so it was not a rapid occurrence, but it would have been noticeable by passengers in the cabin,” explained Acting VP Flight Operations Captain Rex Miller. “Maintaining control of the cabin is the priority for the flight crew in cases like these, after which time the captain offers passengers an update on the occurrence.” 

Miller noted that at no time was it necessary for an emergency to be declared in this instance, and the aircraft landed normally at Owen Roberts International Airport. CAL’s VP of Maintenance and Engineering, Fabian Whorms, said the abnormality was subsequently rectified and the aircraft was returned to service. 

Anderson said Cayman Airways pilots receive mandatory simulator training every six months on how to handle such situations.

“Cayman Airways applauds the captain and crew of this flight for managing the situation swiftly and professionally while following procedures to ensure the safety of passengers, and regrets any anxiety that may have been caused to passengers,” he added. 

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  1. BB says:

    I have known Joey all my life. I grew up with him, I am terrified of flying but when I do fly and board a Cayman Airways plane and find out the pilot is Joey. I feel so secure and safe. I am confident he did what was best for the safety of his crew and passengers. Keep your head up!!! Well done to you and your crew!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

     If one of the previous comment is true (regarding the captain announcement over the PA system), I suppose CAL could come up with some "guidance" to their captains as to what to say (or not to say) what such events happen. The announcement made probably instilled fear among the passengers, instead of providing reassurance like it should have. 

  3. noname says:

    Imagine: You are in a plane, 30 minutes after take off, your ears pop, you feel a sinking feeling in your stomach as the plane begins to noticably descend. 30 seconds later the captains voice is heard over the speakers, in a paniced voice he says ‘passengers tighten your seat belts, crew strap in. we have a problem with the cabin’.  You feel the plane continue to descend rapidly – you look out of your window and see the ocean getting closer and closer. 5 minutes later a flight attendant escourts a passenger, presumably with some piloting expertise, to the cockpit to assist the pilots.  Passengers remain fairly quiet – however the looks of fear are hard to hide.  Mothers hold thier children’s hands, another mother takes out her cell phone to text her children in case its her last chance to communicate with them.  10 minutes after that, the plane continues to descend. Nothing more is heard from the captain or any member of crew as to the nature of ‘the problem’, what is being done to resolve it, nothing. Most passengers are assuming that an emergency landing (on land or sea) is very possible at any moment.

    My concern is not about the way that the pilot managed the situation – he got us home safetly. However, I am concerned about Cayman Airways crew’s, as a whole, training for emergency situations.  The captain or a flight attendant or co-pilot or whoever’s responsibility it is to communicate with passengers in these situations – should have done a better job of explaining what the problem was or the level of severity of the problem – and thus avoided the unneccessary emotional trauma that was caused to the passengers of the flight.

    And again another matter the high frequency of technical problems with Cayman Airways aircrafts.

    I am also concerned about Cayman Airways failure to make a statement about this incident until chased by the press. 

    Until some steps are taken to improve the quality and safety of the Cayman Airways fleet, I will be flying other airlines to Cayman where possible.

  4. Concerned says:

    Just to let the readers know it is now 3:15pm Cayman Time 4:15pm Tampa Time, and Cayman Airways has their passengers sitting on the plane in Tampa, can’t leave because of a "problem" they need to fix.  Also, Saturday’s Tampa Flight (from Tampa to Cayman) again was almost an hour late due to electrical problem that needed to be fixed.

    All the training and experience if something happens on these planes "mechanical, electrical" will help!!!






    • Thankful says:

      I appreciate your concerns about whether our planes are having any more challenges than in the past or that can be expected.  However, there are two points I would wish to make: thank God if they (our pilots) find them before they depart and further, the Air France aircraft that went down two weeks ago off of brazil was only 4 YEARS old.  While we understand that POTENTIALLY (because they still dont know conclusively) that bad weather may have contributed, it has been alleged that it was a malfactioning or faulty wind speed gauge that MAY (again we still dont know) have contributed to confusion in the cockpit.  So brand new equipment does not always equate less problems…we should know this from the cars we drive.  Well maintained equipment is a good bet.

      So the important thing here is: Thanks be to God that we have pilots who dont take unecessary risks with passengers on-board and that all arrived home safely.

    • Twyla M Vargas says:

      FIX IT!!!!!

      I will further comment to say I have the best of confidence in the pilot of Cayman Airways, but what is the use of having a good captain on a sinking ship.

      Listen up Cayman Island is very small Island, and dont even talk about the news carrying, gossiping and putting blame on ya. here  So If  I was in charge of Cayman Airways I would say FIX IT!!!  Whatever the problem is FIX IT.  Let the people know how you are taking care of situations.  We do not want to hear any thing about dodging comments.   Remember this is how we Caymanians are.  One day we will eat from your restaurant and that night we hear there was a fly found in the soup.  Guess what you might as well close down.  Get what I am talking about.    Ok  Nuff said.

  5. Bob says:

    Well done to the pilots! Since it took 20 mins to descend to 10000ft, the descent was very much "normal" and I struggle to understand how some passengers were quoted as saying it was frightening! But that would be another story.

    Two thumbs up for a job well done.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good job pilots.  CAL is certainly my airline and stand by them all the way.  I miss the Mike Adam days though.  He was always so helpful when things went wrong.  I hear there is so much unhappiness there.  By the way, does anyone know who the actual CEO of the airline is?  I hear he is a ghost no where to be found.  And exactly how long does a "designate" need to be trained.  If that much training is needed that makes me real uneasy about the choice.  Another PPM failure!

  7. Shaun Ebanks says:

    Strong praise and "nuff respect" for Captain Joey Jackson and his flight crew on KX107 from Miami on the 3/6/09. I’ve known Capt. Jackson for most of my life and he has been flying for probably over 25 years now.

    I would fly with Captain Jackson and any other Cayman Airways pilots/crew any hour of the day as I feel 100% confident that I’m in safe hands with those in the cockpit and cabin. In fact, I just purchased an airline ticket to Miami recently and I don’t have one bit of concern whatsoever in terms of safety on my national airline.

    In case persons don’t know, I believe it was Capt. Jackson and then First Officer Arlond Brooks (now Capt. Brooks) whom many years ago while flying over some part of Texas, flew into some unexpected turbulance and a strong downdraft (windsheer) which caused Cayman Airways to plummet a couple of hundred feet in a few seconds. On this occasion again with Captain Jackson at the controls, he took our national airline and it’s passengers to safety in an emergency landing somewhere in Texas. This ladies and gentlemen, is training, experience and skill’s at it’s best in a time of crisis. 

    As for Cayman airways maintenance staff, I trust them 100% as you won’t find falsified records of mainteance work conducted, due to financial constraints that all airlines face’s in the industry.

    I say to Caymanians, residents and visitors alike, stand by Cayman Airways and it’s pilots and staff in these challenging times ahead. 

    God speed and safe return’s to my Caymanian "Fly Boy’s"