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Cessna crashes near Arnos Vale Sporting Complex

Cessna crashes near Arnos Vale Sporting Complex

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Counseling was made available for the shaken crew and passengers of the ill-fated single engine aircraft that crashed last Saturday into a small river at the side of the newly refurbished Arnos Vale Sporting Complex.

However all four occupants of the plane just wanted to leave St Vincent as soon as possible; two left on the day of the accident while the other two were flown out the following day.

Photo left: Co-Pilot André Lythcott leaving the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital after the plane crash.{{more}}

This is according to Director of Airports, Corsel Robertson who said that a counseling facility courtesy the Ministry of Education was available if the persons needed it.

“Surviving a plane crash can be a traumatic experience,” she said.

The single engine Cessna aircraft, registration number 8B-MJR, crashed after the pilot lost control while attempting to land the airplane.

The official press release from the office of the Director of Airports, Corsel Robertson (photo below) says that “after crossing the runway threshold in what appeared to be normal configuration, the aircraft encountered difficulty touching down” as it reportedly kept “going up and down”. The aircraft turned right (south) in an attempt to abort the landing, but was unable to achieve sufficient height and crashed shortly after,” the release continued.

The release further stated that the aircraft came to rest upside down in the river and “all four persons on board received minor injuries.”

The plane was coming from Barbados and was piloted by Anil Ramloechan.

After the crash, the four occupants were taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital for examination, were X-rayed and released. They were accompanied by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Godfred Pompey.

Reliable sources told SEARCHLIGHT that the occupants had telephone conversations with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

A large contingent of police and fire officers were swiftly on the scene to investigate the crash. Trinidad and Tobago soldiers, part of the Caricom security forces were also in attendance.

Reports from the preliminary findings of the Airports Authority are to be sent to the Antigua headquarters of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) who are expected to conduct a formal investigation into the accident.

The crash is the second to occur in St Vincent in less than four months. Dominique Gonsalves and Rasheed Ibrahim are presumed dead after their SVG Air Aero Commander 500 went missing at around 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2006.

The local coast guard, assisted by teams from Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago and the Regional Security System (RSS) based in Barbados launched a massive search operation.

SVG Air offered financial rewards for information about the whereabouts of the airplane and the missing men but as the months have rolled by, the sun of hope has gradually set on the prospect of any new discovery.