Fly Montserrat Operating Flights, Air Accident Investigation Team to Arrive Wednesday
Fly Montserrat is operating its regularly scheduled flights following an incident on Monday afternoon in which one of its aircraft went off the runway on approach.
Around 4:20PM on Monday, the aircraft, a Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander ran off the runway at the John A. Osborne Airport in Geralds.
Fire service and emergency crew responded swiftly, and officials confirmed shortly after that there were no physical injuries resulting from the accident.
The airline said in a release that “all FlyMontserrat’s flights are running normally from 9am this morning following an incident at Montserrat’s John A Osborne Airport on Monday afternoon. The aircraft, on a flight from Antigua with 6 passengers, carried out a normal approach and landing on arrival. As the aircraft approached the far end of Runway 10, the pilot turned, but due to the wet runway surface the aircraft vacated the runway at a very slow speed, estimated at 1-2mph.
“Thanks to the skill of the pilot, no-one was hurt in the incident, but the aircraft incurred some damage to its rear elevator, and to its wing tip during recovery. As is normal, the relevant authorities have been informed and investigations continue into all aspects of the flight,” the airline’s statement read.
On Tuesday morning, a release from the Governor’s Office stated that Governor Andy Pearce and his staff expressed their sympathy to all those involved in yesterday’s incident at the airport. “It was a huge relief that no one was injured. We would also like to express our appreciation to the emergency services and airport authorities for their swift response and their hard work into what was a very rainy evening afterwards. Their commitment and skill are a great reassurance to us all in this small island community,” the release read.
A team from the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) in the UK is scheduled to arrive on island Wednesday “to work with the local investigator to help take forward an investigation. This will be important to ensure that any necessary lessons are identified, learned and implemented. In the meantime, discussions are underway on whether adjustments in airport operations are required pending the fuller investigation,” according to the statement.
A Fly Montserrat aircraft crashed in October 2012 at the V.C. Bird International Airport, and three passengers were killed. The airline has also had similar incidents of going off the runway on approach to the local airport, which has one of the shortest runways in the world.
The local airline operates four daily flights between Montserrat and Antigua, and provides emergency medical evacuation services and charters.