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Bag containing $11,000 found in plane wreck

Bag containing $11,000 found in plane wreck


A bag containing over $11,000 was found in the wreck of the light aircraft that crashed at Langley Park, Georgetown on Monday.

A source close to the investigation into the plane crash told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday that police retrieved the bag containing the money after being told by an attorney acting for the pilot{{more}} that the cash was on the plane at the time of the crash.

According to the source, while police were told that $15,000 was on the plane, only a little over $11,000 was found in the wreck.

The investigation into the crash is being led by Paul Delisle, Flight Operations Inspector of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), with assistance from Richard Lindsey, Airworthiness inspector of the ECCAA and officials of the Airports Department.

The US registered Cessna C-337 Sky Master, with registration number N504ME, was a frequent visitor to SVG and had made two trips to the country on Saturday, May 9, only two days before Monday’s incident.

The source told SEARCHLIGHT that preliminary investigations indicate that the plane might have crashed because it ran out of fuel en route from the George Charles Airport in St Lucia to the ET Joshua Airport in SVG.

A release from director of airports Corsel Robertson said at about 2:27 p.m. when the plane was about six miles from the ET Joshua airport, it reported that it had a “slight problem” and requested priority for landing.

“There were no specific details given about the nature of the problem. The pilot did not declare an emergency. Shortly after this transmission, communication with the aircraft was lost. A short while later, Air Traffic Control at ET Joshua Airport received a call from Mr Duncan Richardson who is the pilot of the crop duster/ spray plane which operates out of Langley Park. He informed them that an aircraft had over flown the strip at Langley Park following which there was a loud bang. It was later confirmed that the aircraft had crashed in a field at Langley Park in the North East of St. Vincent,” Robertson’s release said.

The plane’s pilot captain Wayne McDiarmed of St Lucia and first officer Marvin Teka of Grenada both survived the crash and up to press time were patients at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH).

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