Hummingbird Air has cancelled all passenger flights until further notice amidst an investigation into the cause of a second crash landing in three months. The latest incident occurred here in Saint Lucia on Sunday November 8, 2015.
On Monday November 9, 2015 a press release from the Saint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority confirmed the incident which took place at the George FL Charles Airport affecting all scheduled flights. “Regular airport operations have resumed at the George F.L. Charles Airport, today, Monday, November 9, 2015 after remaining closed following an aircraft incident yesterday morning,” said the statement from SLASPA.
The release went on to explain that at approximately 8:46 AM on Sunday, November 8, 2015, a BE99 Aircraft of Hummingbird Airlines encountered difficulty upon landing at the George F.L. Charles Airport, causing the aircraft to veer off the runway towards the southern edge into the grassy area. At the time of the incident the pilot in command was the only occupant of the aircraft and no injuries were reported.
According to SLASPA subsequent to the occurrence of this incident, an investigation was launched by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) and the “All Clear” was given to remove the aircraft from the runway. In an effort to ensure the safety of airport users and infrastructural integrity of the airport were not compromised during the removal of the aircraft, the runway remained closed for the remainder of the day.
Since then a statement issued by Hummingbird Air indicated that it was also carrying out its own probe.
“The company has launched an internal investigation to determine the cause of this incident. Hummingbird Air has taken the decision to cancel all passenger flights until further notice,” said the carrier which flies to Dominica, St Lucia, St Kitts. St Maarten and the US and British Virgin Islands, and offers charter services to other islands.
Back in August, a Hummingbird Air plane veered off the runway in Barbuda and crashed into a nearby field, with five passengers on board, including company owner Sam Raphael.
No one was injured in that incident either and Raphael had praised the pilot for his handling of the accident.