August 04, 2021
PILOTS who died in a plane crash in Abaco last month did not properly configure the settings on the aircraft for takeoff, investigators say in their report on the crash.
The jet destroyed airport lighting equipment and broke several trees along its path, according to the official report from the Air Accident Investigation Department.
Lavan Paul, a former defence force officer, and Jason Allen, a marine, were pilots of the plane which crashed on July 5.
The two foreign pilots who flew the plane into Abaco from the Dominican Republic later filed a stolen plane report.
The Tribune understands that police have been following various leads relating to the incident. However, the Royal Bahamas Police Force has so far declined to describe the nature of their investigation to the press.
Investigators have said the pilots lacked the type rating needed to fly the plane.
The AAIA has concluded that the probable cause of the plane crash is the failure of the craft to climb as required. Contributing factors to the crash include the unfamiliarity of the pilots with the aircraft systems and the failure of the crew to configure the aircraft for proper takeoff.
The AAIA said: “A trail of aviation fuel and pieces of the aircraft and avionics equipment from the flight deck, were left behind before the aircraft finally hit a small mound (hill), spinning, hitting several additional trees, breaking apart and bursting into flames. The aircraft came to rest at coordinates 26°45’21.50”N, 77°24’7.26”W, approximately 2,000 feet (.33 miles) from the end of runway 32.”
“As this airport did not have a fire truck or crash and rescue personnel stationed on site, assistance with fire services were requested from the town. Two firetrucks from the township responded, however, due to the location of the crash, and no access road available, the trucks were unable to reach the crash site and assist in extinguishing the blaze. The fire continued unimpeded, dampened only by the intermittent downpour of rain, which did not aid in extinguishing the blaze, but rather, only limited the spread of the fire to surrounding bushes. The raging fire totally destroyed the aircraft and much of the control surfaces and components in the direct area of the blaze.”
The flight was headed to Marsh Harbour as its final destination, according to the transire signed by the pilots. However, the AAIA said it is unclear where the aircraft was to travel because the destination in the flight plan differed from the destination approved on the Transire Form C38.
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