September 19, 2020

Cayman Islands police helicopter strikes line of tethered kite

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Police Helicopter Strikes Line of Tethered Kite; Helicopter Back in Service Sunday (19)

On the afternoon of Friday 16 March 2017, while on a police tasking in the of , the police helicopter struck the line of a tethered kite (a fishing line with a swivel attached) that appears to have been flown well over 400 feet high.   The line had become entangled in the main rotor head and had snapped. The kite itself was not seen by the helicopter crew during the flight.

The crew of the helicopter were immediately aware of the encounter with the line and completed emergency checks in accordance with their training.  They immediately returned to the airport and landed without incident.

The crew were not injured, and a subsequent inspection by the helicopter’s engineers revealed the aircraft to be fully airworthy. It was returned to service at 5pm Sunday.  The body of the helicopter sustained multiple scratches in the incident, which does not affect its airworthiness.  This will be subject to ongoing assessment and costing for repair.

West Bay officers are investigating the incident to identify the kite’s owner.

The flying of kites over 100 feet is prohibited under Air Navigation legislation without authority from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands, and no such permission had been given.   Numerous warnings relating to such activity have been issued by the Authority and the .

The RCIPS immediately notified the CAA CI and a will be submitted as part of the investigation.  The RCIPS are also in communication with the Government’s aviation insurers.

Anyone who may have any information about this incident or has come across what appears to be kite debris should contact the West Bay Police Station at 949-3999. Anonymous tips can be provided directly to the RCIPS via our Confidential Tip Line at 949-7777 or via the Miami-based call centre of Crime Stoppers at 800-8477(TIPS), or online at the link:https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=681.

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