CAL denies emergency

| 14/11/2009

(CNS): Cayman Airways has denied that a crack in the outer non-structural layer of the co-pilot’s windshield on flight KX 103 this morning (Saturday 14 November) from Miami to Grand Cayman caused an emergency landing.  A spokesperson for the airline confirmed that the aircraft descended to a lower cruising altitude for the flight but the captain did not declare an emergency.  CAL said however that it had been advised that an incorrect "emergency" status was released by Cuban air authorities after they had approved the flight’s precautionary decent over its airspace.

 “At no time did the Captain declare an emergency, but as a precautionary measure the Captain opted to descend to a lower cruising altitude for the remainder of the flight,” a statement released by the airline on Saturday afternoon confirmed. “The passengers were advised of the occurrence and the flight continued normally to Grand Cayman with no impact on the passengers’ in-flight experience.”

The airline said they understood the incident was mistakenly communicated as an emergency to the Owen Roberts Air Traffic Control by the Havana-based Air Traffic Control authorities who approved the precautionary decent over Cuba.
“The aircraft landed in Grand Cayman safely and uneventfully, and was removed from service in order to replace the windshield. No disruptions to the airline’s flight schedule have been caused,” the statement read. “Cayman Airways is committed to safety as the primary focus of daily operations, and extends apologies for any inconveniences caused due to this event.”




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  1. Anonymous says:

    when flying on a plane only the lord jesus christ going with us……i travel  frequent but am so afraid to fly!!!! i agree cayman airways gort some good pilot thank god for them.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am thankful to God that we have produced some of the best Pilots in the world , just like our Seamen. Not to put anyone down  but I Just wish that we could afford to repaint the planes again. When I  heard our people on the radio talking about how ugly they looked i was really upset and thought that they were just going after the Minister responsible,and of course Irespect and love him very much , but when I FIRST SAW THEM !!!!!!! I could not believe my eyes. I dont just want to say what Country they look like but there are alot of others that think the same wat that I think. ITS REALLY REALLY  UGLY. I know that if BIG MACK reads this that he will find the money somehow and get it done . They were beautiful the way they were before.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE CAYMAN AIRWAYS, and at present I am in Cuba reading this on CNS.  My comments are ¨things happen¨¨ But I dont want them happening while my foot is not on the ground.  I dont have wings.  I trust my airlines and I am sure they will fix the problem.  Dont play with peoples lives, its bad as it is.  God Bless and soar like an eagle.

  3. tony says:

    Well i flew to miami and the hydraulics failed after we took off, thus forcing an emergency landing, the plane landed safely, i totally trust the pilots but maintainance? well ive heard some stories of some of the people actually working on the planes and ill say no more

    • Anonymous says:

      Well if you totally trust the pilots, you should totally trust their judgement too.

      Do you really think these pilots you totally trust would be flying around aircraft which they did not totally trust to be properly and well maintained.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it was due to a bird strike?  These things happen all the time.  Sometimes they don’t cause any damage, sometimes they cause catastrophic results.  Everyone was lucky in this instance.

  5. Peter Milburn says:

    Cayman Airways has some of the best pilots.Period!!!!!!Always feel safe flying on CAL but cant always do it depending on where one travels.Keep up the great work you guys.Kudos to our maintainance crews as well.Without them she wont fly.

    • Anonymous says:

      How on earth can you make a statement like that?  Do you know every pilot in the world flying today and are you some sort of global flight examiner?

      • Anonymous says:

        yep I frequently hear this said on the caymanian talk shows…. absolutley bizarre statement…. but then again caymanians got to be proud of something… inculding illegal unathoized low fly-bys…

        • Anon says:

          DO NOT EVEN GO THERE AGAIN! GET OVER IT ALREADY!! Get a life why don’t you! That horse has left the gate, been beaten, is dead and buried! So GET OVER IT about low fly-bys!! You really need to get a life! I am very proud of my Caymanian pilots and I say a prayer for them and for everyone else that’s flying with them even when I’m not on the plane. Even if I just see the plane taking off or coming in for landing I say a quick pray for their safe journey. Pray works wonders and I believe in the power of prayer. I also have alot of faith in the pilots, but they too are only human like you and me! SO GET OVER THE LOW FLY BY!! And just say a quick prayer and thank God for letting the plane land safely and for keeping everyone safe and alive!

          Oh, btw do you have anything in your life that you can say you are proud of? YES we Caymanians are very proud of our pilots! Deal with it!

  6. NSS says:

    This same thing happened on a flight from Cayman to Chicago. As the plane began descending (3 hours into the flight) the pilot announced we were beginning our descent into TAMPA! Somehow the pilots had managed to turn 180 degrees and go to a lower altitude with the passengers none the wiser. We landed safely in Tampa, CA booked us on flights out the next morning and put us up in the airport Marriott.
    Great pilots. I always feel safe flying with them.
    (The reason they flew back to Tampa had to do with available maintenance facilities.)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank God we have great pilots! We definately need to make sure that the government is not cutting the budget too short for these planes to be properly maintained.

    • Animosity says:

      We will know if we see Mack and his boys travelling on other Airlines, However we do have a very responsible set of Caymanian Pilots and Maintenance staff at the National Airline and I personally believe that the acting CEO will not allow the airplanes to fly if they are unsafe.

      Further, the Civil Aviation Authority keeps a very keen eye on Cayman Airways operations and would act to prevent any breaches of safety.

      Trust those at the National Airline to do what is right to keep the travelling public safe and continue to support the airline so that it can earn its way out of any shortcuts..

      Some recent employees of the National Airline tried to hide Sir Turtle by spending unnecessary money on decorations of their choice, however whatever their motive was I still only recognize the airplanes by sir turtle when he can be seen.

      • Anonymous says:

        But no one has said how did the windshield crack?  Did it break in mid flight?  What was the cause of it?  Yes we have great pilots, but I think someone should explain on what happened?

        • Anonymous says:

          Absolutely, I agree. Someone needs to explain the cause.

          • Animosity says:

            Windshield cracking is a frequent occurence with all aircraft that fly at high altitudes.

            There are so many factors that cause this one can not explain the exact cause.

            Aircraft windshields are made of laminated glass that contain  many layers and between layers there is gold dust and other materials that make the glass specialized for its purpose, however like any material that is subjected to sudden pressure and temperature changes cracking do occur and it happens more frequently than one can imagine.

            When windshield cracking occurs Pilots are trained to take precautionary measures that will enable the aircraft to continue to operate safely until it can be landed and maintenance procedures carried out.

            A customary procedure is to reduce altitude to a level that would maintain normal oxygen levels in the event that the cracking could lead to loss of cabin pressurisation and  place the safety of the passengers  and crew in danger.

            • Anonymous says:

              You are not quite correct.  The ‘Gold dust’ you refer to is nothing to do with the window structure, at best gold plated wiring is used in window heating because gold is a good conductor.  Aircraft certification standards do not allow windows to be designed to crack under temperature and flexing extremes, this is in fact one factor that is designed out as an undesireable and unacceptable failure mode analysis.

              It is not a ‘frequent’ ocurrence it is something the is common to all aircraft with this type of window.

              Cracking is caused inmost cases due to incorrect installation.  The torque loading and tightening sequence of the attachment bolts is critical to ensure even stress is placed on the window structure.  The aircraft also flexes causing stress on the windows.

              Birdstrikes can also cause windshield cracking but in this case CAL has not stated it.  I would bet that if the airline was asked for statistics on how many windows have cracked in the past five years you would find that there have been multiple incidences and two the maintenance instructions have not been followed correctly.

      • Anonymous says:

        What I don’t understand with some of the writers, no matter what topic, they always have to bring Mack and politics into play!? Why can’t we stay more focused with the Issue at hand and leave the slures, nonsens and other non relavant comments for some other times and other places like run-down!!!???

        • Afraid to Strap on a Pair Also says:

          It’s because "CAL Denies Emergency."  If it had been headlined ANY other way, I wouldn’t worry.  And I’m an American who doesn’t give jack-sh-t about Mac.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.  We have the best pilots!!  Budget cuts have no place when it comes to air safety.