November 20, 2019

The Editor Speaks: Well done Cayman Airways pilots

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It is actually a rare occurrence thankfully to have an emergency landing here in the Cayman Islands.

We did have one last Thursday (14) when Cayman Airways’ Tampa flight KX200, operated by VP-CNG, had to return to Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) shortly after its 11:50am takeoff.

So rare, a Rooster 101 radio disk jockey sounded very excited at the incident and must have recounted the incident a dozen times to his listeners.

He even told us the engine had “blown up”!

My God!!

To tell the truth I didn’t say that at a picture in my mind of an exploding engine in the sky complete with flames and metal parts raining down with terrified passengers screaming inside the plane. I said “’My God” as to why the incident had been “blown up” by the disk jockey. You see, I had received (obviously the same) report of the whole incident at least half an hour before his sensational announcement. It made no mention of an engine blowing up.

The true account of the incident is:

“Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft experienced abnormal engine parameters, accompanied by vibration, on the right-hand engine while climbing through 5,000 feet. The situation required the pilots to quickly complete several required safety checks inflight, which resulted in the engine having to be shut down and an emergency declared for a landing with an inoperative engine at ORIA.

and CEO, Mr. Fabian Whorms, said the crew remained in complete control of the aircraft and situation at all times, and the aircraft landed safely at 12:20pm without further incident.

“There were 128 passengers on board.

‘“While our pilots are highly trained and well prepared to handle any situation in flight, we highly commend and the rest of the crew for their precise execution of the prescribed procedures in this instance,” Mr. Whorms said. “All multi-engine aircraft are certified to operate all phases of flight with one engine inoperative, including takeoff and landing, provided a specific set of operating procedures are followed.

“All Cayman Airways pilots are extremely competent at performing these procedures and, in this instance, Captain Coe and First Officer Thompson performed with the highest level of precision possible, resulting in a very safe and uneventful landing.” “As always, we at Cayman Airways place safety as our highest priority and we are thankful for the patience and understanding of our passengers,” Mr. Whorms added. “We know that the onboard experience during this event was unsettling for our passengers and we apologize for any discomfort experienced. We can, however, assure everyone that the flight crew maintained a safe operating environment throughout the flight.” Mr. Whorms said the aircraft has been removed from service for repairs and another Cayman Airways aircraft and crew operated a delayed flight KX200 to Tampa, which departed at 3:03pm (EST) and arrived at 5:51pm (EDT). No other flights were delayed.”

Well done Cayman Airways’ pilots and poor show to the Rooster disk jockey. An aircraft having to return because of engine problems is sensational enough without any added descriptions that were not true at all.

The DJ DID commend the pilot and co-pilot for the  safe landing.

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