From Channel 7 news:
The Maya Island Air Flight That Ran Off The Runway
7 people were treated for minor injuries after a Maya Island Air Cessna Caravan ran off the runway yesterday evening in Corozal. We understand that 3 of those people sought treatment in Chetumal, and four here in Belize – with the greatest concern reserved for a pregnant passenger. We are told also that the pilot, Nigel Flowers, received quite a few lacerations to his face. But while there are no major injuries, there is a major and continuing concern for the safety of those traveling from that airstrip. 7NEWS flew to the Corozal airstrip which is actually in Ranchito this afternoon. Here’s what we saw.
Jules Vasquez Reporting,
This is the end of the runway – and this is where the Cessna caravan ended up, 529 feet away in the middle of a privately owned farm atop an orange tree. And it’s the branch of another orange tree - this one that snapped the wing – and also lost a wheel, mowed over the fence, flattened three trees, and claimed a few crushed oranges.
Civil Aviation inspectors were there from this morning and concluded that as these ruts show that the plane never left the ground.
Brian Dominguez, Inspector – Department of Civil Aviation
“We've come to the realization, unlike what was reported previously, there is no indication of a power failure and the aircraft did however never gained altitude, we believe, we have evidence to reveal that and we need to at this point in time corroborate all the evidence from the pilot, which we don't have at this current point in time before we make any further comments on it. I would prefer to do that."
But there is the appearance of misjudgment on the part of pilot Nigel Flowers as he aborted the take-off three quarter way down the airstrip, when there just wasn’t enough space to stop.
"We believe we may have aborted the takeoff. The key question is what caused him to abort the takeoff. That’s the point of the investigation right now so the pilot is a key part of our investigation at this moment."
Maya Island Air representatives we spoke to complain about the woeful condition of the runway. It’s uneven and full of potholes and they say if it doesn’t get fixed soon they’ll have to stop flying to Corozal for safety reasons. But today even with a wreck on the ground planes continued to fly. Both Maya island and Tropic Air have about four flights a day from Corozal – a fairly popular route, but as long as there are holes like this flying to Corozal will be at least a bumpy ride, hopefully not a perilous one.
Dominguez says that the case appears to be straightforward, and he expects a short investigation.