CAL makes emergency landing at Owen Roberts

| 16/04/2011

(CNS): A faulty landing gear indicator on a Cayman Airways aircraft bound for Jamaica forced the plane to turn around and make an emergency landing around twenty minutes after take-off on Friday. At around 8:30pm the Emergency Services were called out to Grand Cayman’s Owen Roberts International Airport to be on standby for the landing of the flight. The aircraft landed safely and without incident as it was the indicator light not the actually landing gear that appeared to be at fault. Cayman Airways CEO Fabian Whorms said the request for emergency services was a precautionary measure. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

CNS has contacted the airline but so far has had no response. However; the CEO spoke to the local television channel Cayman27 and revealed that the aircraft’s landing gear was in working order.

“After selecting the gear up, the indication for one of the gears did not correctly indicate that the gear was up and locked as expected even though the gear was in fact operating normally,” Whorms said, adding that the captain of the aircraft immediately elected to return as a precautionary measure. “The return was normal and uneventful with correct indications that the gear was down and locked.”

He said passenger safety and security was the national flag carrier’s highest priority which is why an abundance of caution, or precaution in this case was exercised to ensure operation safety.

The flight 606 for Kingston should have left Grand Cayman at 6:50 pm and arrive at the Norman Manley International Airport at 7:50pm. It is understood that passengers were eventually taken to Jamaica on the CAL aircraft which returned from Miami later in the evening.

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  1. My 1 cents worth says:

    Maybe the news blew this out of proportion BUT I prefer to know whats going on rather than not hear. This “incident” pales in comparison to what happens daily with airlines the world over.

    All you have to do is listen to: or read the blogs on and you will understand that this incident was a precautionary landing much like what happens daily.

    A suggestion to the CEO of CAL is to maybe use his words more carefully the next time as his statement can be read more ways than one.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Answer to Better than the Goat:-

    Please do me a favour and go to the following website and and you will the the problems that Cayman Airways has are minor compared to the "Big Boys".

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wish every airline was as cautious and safety oriented as Cayman Airways.  

  4. Better than the Goat story last year says:

    Is it just me or with such a tiny fleet of aircraft (is it 6 to 8 we have with CAL?) there seem to be a disproportionally large number of incidents reported – seems almost monthly a CAL aircraft turns arounds for precautionary measures, erroneous lights etc.  I am sure our engineer and mechanics team are great – are the aircraft themselves too old?

  5. Retired Aviator says:

    Why does the CNS headline state CAL makes Emergency Landing when Cayman 27 is reporting that the Emergency services were called out as a precaution? Is Cayman 27 correct and CNS incorrect or visa versa? The media should report the news correctly, plain and simple. The description of the event does not sound like an emergency to me.

    I wonder if CNS understands the destructive impact they have on our country with sensationalized reports that inaccuratley portray our tourism products in a negative light.

    Google Cayman Airways right now and the first thing that pops up is CAL makes Emergency Landing.  CAL should freaking sue CNS.

    Tourists and residents alike will read this article and likely be afraid to fly Cayman Airways because of this CNS headline, when the reality is the airline is conducting it’s operations in a very safe manner considering the extent of precautions taken for what sounds like a simple indicating problem. If the landing gear itself was not functioning properly, now that could have been reported as an emergency landing, which appear not to be the case, if in fact the emergency services were only requested to stand by. 

    CNS: When the emergency services are on full alert it is called an emergency landing. This is accurate terminology not sensationalising. The heading implies that it was a safe emergency landing, otherwise it would be called a crash. The lead sentence (which is visible in a Google search, since you are worried about that) explains succinctly what happened and the first paragraph make the details of the event abundantly clear. Both the headline and the article are accurate. 

    • Retired Aviator says:

      When the Captain of the aircraft crew declares an emergency, that is when it is called an emergency landing. How would you differentiate your headline if an emergency was actually declared?

      I can imagine that if the Captain had declared an emergency then your headline would have been "CAL makes an emergency emergency landing".



  6. petermilburn says:

    Its always best to be safer than sorry.Kudos to the CAL pilots and staff and to the ground crews that stood by just in case(fire trucks etc)

    • Anonymous says:

      They’re paid overtime if they work extra. Nothing against the CAL staff but i’m not expecting a ‘kudos’ if i stay late at my accounting job… and i’m not paid OT.

      • Twyla Vargas says:

        I always have had a special proud admiration for Cayman Airways and the people that make the decisions, and especially the pilots. If I am driving across the airport and see them landing sometime I will pull off the side just to admire the smooth sure landing. If I see them taking off I always offer a prayer for safe travel. Now although the reason for a turn a round was not something of a serious nature, I admire and thank those persons who thought first of the people on the plane, deciding that safety came first. Our pilots are the best, our executive officers are the best, our mechanics are the best and Our steward and stewardess are the best; and I say this because I am proud to be a Cayman Airways supporter. I have no otherwise interest whatsoever in Cayman Airways, only to show I support my airlines.