Author: East Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority | Date: 19 November 2013
The preliminary report from the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority into the fatal plane crash on 7 October is below. The substantive investigation into the crash is ongoing. The Governor's Office will immediately release further details to the public as they become available.
Aircraft Type and Registration: Britten-Norman BN2A-26 Islander, VP-MON serial number 082)
No & Type of Engines: 2 Lycoming O-540-E4C5 piston engines
Year of Manufacture: 1969
Location V.C. Bird International Airport, Antigua (TAPA)
Date & Time (UTC): 7 October 2012 at 2010 hrs
Type of Flight: Commercial Air Transport (Passenger)
Persons on Board: Crew: 1 Passengers: 3
Injuries: Crew 1 (fatal)
Passengers 2 (fatal)
Nature of Damage: Aircraft destroyed
Commander's Licence: Commercial Pilot's Licence
Commander's Age: 31 years
Commander's Flying Experience: 710 hours total of which 510 were on type
Last 28 days- 25 hours
Last 24 hours � 0.5 hours
Information Source: ECCAA Accident Investigation
All times in this report are UTC; Antigua time is UTC - 4 hrs
The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority was informed of the accident immediately, and senior staff attended the accident site without delay.
The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority began an investigation under the Antigua and Barbuda Civil Aviation Regulations 2004. In accordance with established international arrangements, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) of the United Kingdom, representing the State of Design and Manufacture of the aircraft, and (through its registration in a British Overseas Territory) the State of Operator, appointed an Accredited Representative to participate in the investigation. The AAIB Accredited Representative is supported by an AAIB Advisor. Britten-Norman, the aircraft manufacturer, has been informed of the accident and has offered assistance. Air Safety Support International (ASSI) , which performs regulatory oversight of the aircraft operator, has been informed of the accident and is cooperating with the investigation. Montserrat Airways Limited, the operator, is also cooperating with the investigation.
Initial investigative activity focused on examination of the aircraft wreckage and accident site, gathering of evidence from witnesses, and examination of technical records. Further investigation will encompass all operational and engineering matters relevant to the accident. A comprehensive accident report will be published in due course.
History of the flight
The aircraft, which had flown earlier during the day, was on a commercial air transport (passenger) flight from V.C. Bird International Airport, Antigua (TAPA), to John A. Osborne Airport, Montserrat (TRPG), with the pilot and three passengers on board. Weather conditions at the time of departure were good, though convective clouds and heavy rain showers had passed over the airport while the aircraft was parked before flight.
Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft was observed to yaw to the right, and to cease climbing. The aircraft then descended rapidly, apparently out of control. The aircraft impacted the ground within the airport perimeter, right wingtip first and steeply banked to the right, at low forward speed. Ground marks and damage to the wing tips and nose indicate that the aircraft cart-wheeled before coming to rest erect. The fuselage forward of the wings was destroyed; there was comparatively less damage to the rear part of the aircraft.
The pilot and two passengers, both of whom were seated in the forward part of the cabin, were fatally injured. Another passenger, seated in the rear-most row of seats, was seriously injured and taken to hospital for treatment.
Examination of the wreckage indicates that the number two (right-hand) engine was not producing power at the time of impact, and investigation of the fuel system feeding that engine found significant quantities of water.
Following failure of one of the two engines on the Islander aircraft, the failed engine's propeller should be feathered, to reduce the drag produced. Following successful feathering, continued flight should be possible. Examination of the right-hand propeller showed that it was not in the feathered position.