There hasn’t been a local plane accident since the tragic death of Sir Barry Bowen in February of last year, when his plane crashed near San Pedro. But this morning, a Tropic plane veneered off the runway of the Municipal Airstrip. On board were its pilot and seven passengers; luckily no one was injured. When the pilot tried to apply brakes, it failed and sent the seven-seater GA-8 aircraft careening off in the soft mud before it finally came to a halt off the airstrip’s runway. The GA 8 is one of the company’s newer versions in its fleet. It had just departed San Pedro at ten without any obvious mechanical problems. Chief Executive Officer of Tropic Air, Steven Sholte, told News Five that Tropic Air is investigating when the plane was last serviced.
Steven Sholte, C.E.O., Tropic Air
“A seven seat aircraft experienced a brake problem when landing at municipal airport. The pilot pulled over to the soft shoulder of the airstrip and the wheel of the aircraft was partially bogged down. There were no injuries; the aircraft sustained only minor damage. We’re preparing to ferry it to San Pedro for repairs.”
“Now considering the frequency with which these aircrafts go through maintenance and repair, can you tell us a little bit about that—when was the last time and how this could have happened?”
“I don’t have the records on that yet and the aircraft’s maintenance is under investigation. Normally, the aircraft is serviced every evening. There are occasions when the aircraft remains in Punta Gorda overnight and we are checking to see if this aircraft was one of those that was held overnight in Punta Gorda or whether it was serviced last night here.”
Sholte said the airplane was commissioned about five years ago and it still has about fifteen to twenty more years of life before it is retired. Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Department is conducting a separate investigation into the incident.