Government of Montserrat to Respond to ASSI Accident Report
The Government of Montserrat will be reviewing the report from Air Safety Support International (ASSI) on the September 2019 Fly Montserrat incident.
Colin Fergus, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Communications & Works, said during a press conference last Friday, organised by the Governor’s Office, that they have 90 days to respond to the findings officially made public Thursday.
In a heated response to concerns about the report, Governor Andy Pearce told reporters that the incident had been thoroughly and professionally investigated. He said the report shows there were a combination of factors including speed of the aircraft, a wet runway and wind which resulted in the airplane going off the runway. He vehemently disagreed that a second opinion was needed to allay concerns about the transparency of the investigation by the UK agency, which has responsibility for regulating airlines which operate here.
Airport manager Joseph Irish said one issue raised in the report, which was of concern, was the number of flight hours that the pilot had on the Islanders, which is the type used in the local airline’s fleet. Irish said the Governor’s Instructions indicate that pilots should have a minimum of 500 flying hours on the aircraft, while the report showed the pilot who had a total of 660 flying hours only had 303 hours on Islanders.