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Two pilots survive light aircraft crash

Two pilots survive  light aircraft crash


A pilot and co-pilot of a light aircraft are currently patients at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) after surviving a crash at Langley Park, Georgetown, yesterday afternoon.

According to reports, sometime between 2:30 and 3 p.m., the plane, a Cessna C-337 Sky Master,{{more}} bearing the name “Black Bird,” flown by St Lucian Wayne Mc Diarmed and Grenadian co-pilot Marvin Fabian Peka, crashed landed into a three-acre banana field, uprooting a large coconut tree in the process.

The men were initially taken to the Georgetown hospital for treatment, following which they were transported to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) by ambulance. On arrival there, they were quickly wheeled into the Accident and Emergency Department.

When SEARCHLIGHT arrived at the scene of the crash at Langley Park, police officers had already cordoned off the area and investigators were observed placing small flags into the ground, marking the locations of pieces of debris from the plane.

Leon “Harry” Yearwood, security officer at the Langley Park airstrip, told SEARCHLIGHT that he saw when the plan crashed.

According to Yearwood, he was sitting on the premises of the airstrip when he saw a plane fly overhead.

“I see it and step back and I see it come from the northern side and as it got across the hill, it’s like the engine failed. At that time the cloud was very dark and it was windy,” Yearwood related.

Yearwood said he saw the plane fly in an almost circular route, before flying overhead and brushing the trees situated just outside the premises.

“He flew straight back over the airstrip here, brushed the trees and landed in the field.”

Yearwood said he called out to Duncan Richardson, a pilot stationed at the airstrip and told him what he saw.

“I told him what happened and he called the control tower at the airport to let them know what had taken place. I ran out with the fire extinguisher. I didn’t really know where the plane landed, because all I heard was the noise and I heard a voice calling for help.

“As I got closer, I told the voices that help is coming. Hold on. I then saw gas flowing from the plane and I managed to stop that first of all. I go to their assistance and try to get them out. Some other people came to help. Two of them were trapped in the plane,” Yearwood recounted.

Additionally, he told SEARCHLIGHT that he observed that one of the pilots had an injury to his head and was bleeding profusely. He noted that the aircraft bore a name and one of the pilots was on top of the other.

“We tried to get him off. We undo the strap and tried to get him out. He was bleeding heavy on the other pilot. He went with a transport to the hospital and at that time, police had arrived on the scene.

“We had to use the tractor and jeep with a rope to get the other one unhooked. The steering for the plane was jammed against his chest and the seat was close to him. He was saying ‘Help me, help me, hold me up’ and I kept him steady and assured him that he would make it,” Yearwood recalled.

Yearwood said it took a while to free the men from the wreckage, but they were successful in doing so.

“Thankfully, nobody was around the area at the time, but news reached and people started coming to the scene,” he said.

Owner of the three-acre plot of land, Ernestine Medica of Langley Park, said she was not present when the crash took place. She, however, said the crash has caused extensive damage to her land, where she plants yams, ginger among other crops.

“A police lady talk to me and told me about the plane and that it was in my land it landed,” she said.

Duncan Richardson, pilot of the spray plane used by the Ministry of Agriculture, said it appeared as if the pilots were attempting to land after experiencing engine difficulties.

“The timing of his approach was off and he couldn’t make it onto the runway and he went over and into the banana field,” he said.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that the plane was scheduled to land at the ET Joshua Airport in Arnos Vale.

When approached, deputy commissioner of police Reynold Hadaway did not speak much on the matter. He, however, stated that a full investigation has been launched into the crash.