Is Russian Roulette Being Played with Public Safety?

Submitted by Bajan Savage

The following email was circulated to some very important people in the region regarding the declining state of airline management in the region. Minister Kerri Symmonds with responsibility for aviation matters in  Barbados was not omitted from the circulation. In the interest of public safety for crissakes let us get our act together.
David, blogmaster

 


From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Wednesday, January 1, 2020 3:55:34 PM
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Two eastern Caribbean airlines playing pirate games

M. Patrick Gandil, Director General of Civil Aviation Direction Générale De l’Aviation Civile (DGAC)

Mr. Pekka Henttu, Chairman European Aviation Safety Agency

FAA (US Embassy, Political-Economic Officer) John Haley

CHICOT Vania
PRECOPE Rene DAC-AG/FORT-DE-FRANCE

J. Johnson
Barbados Airport Manager

Felicia Arthur
Tech officer Barbados CAD

Sean Widmark, British OT Air Safety
Overseas Territory Inspector for MNI Anguilla Tortola

Mr. Benoit Nardouille Chairman, ECCAA

Mr. Kerrie Symmonds
Minister of International Transport, Barbados (Responsible for the Barbados Civil Aviation Department)

Lady and Gentlemen…

I am retired now, but my background in aviation starts about 1967 when I was an Air Traffic Controller in Barbados (West Indies/Antilles Anglaises), after which I trained in Canada for a Commercial pilot licence, flew charter for a few years, then joined LIAT (1974) Limited

in Antigua as an airline pilot in 1980. I took medical retirement in 1996 (complications from a cataract operation), soon after which I emigrated to Canada and I have been here ever since.

I archive news articles about Caribbean aviation, and send out a Digest every Saturday night which links to a web page listing all the subject lines and links to the articles of the last 7 days: Caribbean Regional Aviation Network

https://www.craneforum.org/index.php

(*If you wish to be added to the CRANe Digest ancillary subscription List, please let me know. You can cancel any time, no hard feelings.)

This means I am current with the public aspect of Caribbean aviation. I also know most of the “players” in the region personally, and I correspond with them regularly. That “circle” includes the Chairman of ECCAA. The Minister of International Transport never responds, nor does anyone at the Ministry, and the published email for the Barbados Civil Aviation Department no longer exists.

I write to advise you about two airlines who currently seem to believe they are pirates of some sort and are making a dangerous mockery of the aviation authorities in both St. Vincent and Barbados.

First, Executive Air of Barbados, also dba Tropical Aviation based in Antigua. This linked incident (below) almost killed the current Prime Minister of Barbados, but clearly nothing of substance was ever done. Basically the plane completed an approach and landing at Barbados while the weather minimums were lower than legal, dropped the passengers off – and then ran out of fuel crossing the runway to its hangar. Undoubtedly,

an overshoot into weather that bad would have ended in the sea.

https://www.craneforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=6001

Recently, Executive Air / Tropical Aviation has been offering Beech
KingAir 200 executive travel for guests of a new hotel in Dominica from
the northern islands of the eastern Caribbean – Antigua, St. Maarten,
etc – under the Barbados registration. This means that they are
operating some 400 miles away from their country of registration and the Barbados CAD does not have the manpower, expertise or funding to oversee ANY airline based there. So Executive Air / Tropical Aviation is
basically operating exclusively in an area where there are no
maintenance facilities.

There was a gear collapse…

https://www.craneforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=15934

https://www.craneforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=16098

Executive Air also has a history of leasing small aircraft and
defaulting on the leases, where the aircraft owner has to come to Barbados and repossesses the aircraft. Apparently the BCAD has done nothing to reprimand the owner, a John Ackie, possibly a good friend of the Prime Minister, because she has done nothing to limit his activities either.

One Caribbean started by registering their first aircraft — a Beech 1900D — at St. Vincent’s new Argyle Airport. Then, soon after, a Boeing 747-400 appeared with their One Caribbean logo – easily registered in Barbados, because the ECCAA would not register it as they were not equipped to oversee that type or4 size of aircraft.

On arrival it was parked in a location where it blocked movements of Boeing 737-size aircraft, and I am told because there is no tug at the airport and they brought no nose wheel towbars with it, the airplane was somehow moved manually some other way — pulled with ropes, I was told — to another part of the ramp. The 747 eventually went to Barbados (Argyle’s entire existing fuel storage capacity on site cannot fill the 747-400’s tanks), from where it departed for the USA, somewhere in Kansas, I believe, for maintenance and/or interior work, and has not

been heard about since.

Three months ago, a One Caribbean aircraft skidded off the runway at Argyle in St. Vincent, a wheel may have broken off… https://www.craneforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=28739

On 22 December (it is believed), a One Caribbean Saab 340B landed at Argyle and dragged the tail on the concrete runway quite some distance. The crew disembarked the passengers normally, and loaded up again for Tortola.

When they called for taxi clearance, the Tower Controller – correctly – refused, and after maintenance personnel had examined the damage and cleared it for flight they departed again. Photos are additionally
provided here…
https://www.craneforum.org/viewtopic.php?t=29228

An ongoing discussion is the same airline — One Caribbean — going into and out of Bequai (Grenadines) with the Saab 340B with full loads. The ECCAA requires a 70% reduction of the actual TORA, so the actual **_LEGAL_** TORA is 2,526 feet (Bequai runway is actually 3,609 feet),

The aircraft’s Performance charts – received direct from Saab USA – (at ISA+15) requires an accelerate-stop distance of about 6,400 feet, 2.5 times the ECCAA runway available, and double the actual runway available.

The Saab 340B is ILLEGAL in and out of Bequai, even at the 15 degrees C cooler temperature of ISA and no 70% restriction. Until the ECCAA grounded it a few days ago, the Beech 1900D was also illegal, but they used it into and out of Bequai anyway.

As above, ECCAA has withdrawn One Caribbean’s St. Vincent AOC and grounded the Beech 1900D, but Barbados – WHICH APPARENTLY HAS NO OVERSIGHT OR INSPECTORS – apparently has no problem with — or is not interested in whether — its registered aircraft doing anything and

everything illegally, whether on Barbados soil or elsewhere.

I have suggested to the Chairman of the ECCAA that perhaps these two carriers should be banned from the ECCAA’s territories until Barbados finally comes to the realisation that piracy is a thing of the past, and there are standards even an IASA/ICAO Category Two country MUST observe. May I suggest that you do the same – Barbados was broke, is borrowing more money, and needs some kind of hard-nosed stimulant to wake them from their sleep when it comes to aviation. “Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous.
But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.”

 

Best wishes, happy new year.

**************
Captain, retired
* Originally from Barbados, West Indies

 


Relevant Link:

The following link seeks to verify one of the incidents highlighted in the communication:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/one-caribbean-airlines-saab-340b-tail-strike-barbados-tomas

30 comments

  • Former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur To Be New LIAT Chairman

    Prime Minister of Barbados during 1994-2008 Owen Arthur, will be the next Chairman of regional airline LIAT, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has revealed.

    Arthur replaces Dr Jean Holder, also from Barbados who resigned last year.

    “You would recognise there will be a new chairman, in fact former prime minister of Barbados Owen Arthur, he will take over as the new chairman of LIAT,” the prime minister announced yesterday.

    He said Arthur is the right man for the job given his history of fighting for LIAT.

    “And I have to tell you I don’t think there could be any better candidate,” Browne said.

    He added that “Owen Arthur would have spent a large amount of his prime ministerial equity ensuring the survival of LIAT, and now that it is at the crossroads again, I think that Owen is the right person to lead LIAT out of these difficulties.”

    Browne said there will be personnel and other changes but did not go into detail.

    “We have come to a consensus on the way forward so a lot of the differences that existed we’ve been able to resolve them and I believe LIAT has a very bright future ahead of it,” the prime minister reported.

    He also said LIAT will be capitalised with the US$ 15 million loan Antigua obtained from the ALBA Bank as well as $5 million from Dominica “and the others will put in a few millions.”

    He said the plan is to raise between 20-30 million dollars to recapitalise the airline.

    Liked by 1 person

  • How they expect anything to run legally with a crook like Maloney sitting as director.

    LIAT has and will always have problems, ignorant fools and greed would destroy anything.

    You can’t even tell them they need younger, more vibrant people with fresh ideas.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    This is one job that I would have advised OSA to decline. It has the potential to compromise his reputation for successful decision making.

    Like

  • It is worth mentioning an important issue as this one does not attract serious debate. It says a lot about where our priorities are placed.

    Like

  • I am glad that Owen took the job. Owen knows how to “kick butt” when necessary, and i expect that he will have to kick the butts of some of the regional governments which expect LIAT to provide multiple flights per day to their countries, while putting nothing into the LIAT pot (except the airfares which their citizens pay). And I like that PM Browne of Antigua approves. Smart guy that Browne.

    Silly Woman
    Once and future LIAT frequent flyer.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    Why would you give such bad advice? Arthur commands the respect of the actors involved especially Gaston!

    Like

  • What qualifies OSA to be a chaiman of Liat a profession that requires aviation background
    As always third world govts advocates putting round buttons in square holes
    For what it is worth when a thorough analysis of barbados economic woes
    OSA name to be partially connected to some of barbados economic woes with a policy of borrowings to pay outstanding debt

    Like

  • Doug Parker, Chairman of American Airlines- earned an economics degree and MBA.

    We all know when Richard Branson ended up as far as qualifications go.

    Both Chairmen of two of the largest airlines in the world. What qualities must a Chairman have to be successful? Go and do some research if you can.

    Like

  • If memory serves correct Liat problems have been long standing going all the way back when OSA was PM
    So what difference would his views in management make at present time as Chairman
    Dont see Liat problems going away with OSA
    Btw there is IMF from which he can access a loan
    However it would be of interest if he is of the same mindset as Mia in selling Barbados shares

    Like

  • You are suggesting LIAT can borrow a loan from the IMF?

    Like

  • At least Arthur has been honest enough to point out the benefits that LIAT brings to Barbados.
    That’s a simple truth that some of us prefer not to accept.
    Arthur is more than competent to chair the LIAT Board.

    Like

  • Correction

    There is no IMF from which OSA can borrow
    –”’——

    If memory serves correct OSA was all in favour of taking barbados debt problems to the hands of the IMF
    —–‘—-‘

    Liat problems calls for more that a set of plans to managed debt but a comprehensive overall of Liat which might include selling the company at a loss
    Having a management team well versed in aviationnthat understand the realities of managing an airline in a global economy
    In my opinion OSA does not hold any titles or qualifications that would exceed and help far and beyond where other Chairmans have tried and failed
    Agree with Vincent that this is one pony which OSA should not ride especially in a hostile environment where some heads of govt think only about what is best for their country
    Going forward OSA would lose the war on unity and walk out looking like a limp duck bathed in sea water

    Liked by 1 person

  • It is worth mentioning an important issue as this one does not attract serious debate. It says a lot about where our priorities are placed.

    @David

    nothing much to debate, as Hal Austin regularly points out, there is serious regulation and enforcement problem in Barbados. It is due in part to incompetence, ignorance, lack of accountability and political interference (LOL is this the bajan condition?)

    Regulations should be written in such a way that in order to break them or be in breach it would require a conspiracy and or gross negligence of multiple persons.

    No such thing as happenstance when regulations are broken. But over and over regulations are broken and nothing happens, no charges, no arrests, nothing.

    What is there to debate? We see it with the ZRs, Clico, construction sites, lawyers.

    Like

  • David BU

    Don’t worry about Mariposa. Remember, “the intelligent ones understand her position.”

    Like

  • ArtaxJanuary 6, 2020 10:08 AM

    David BU

    Don’t worry about Mariposa. Remember, “the intelligent ones understand her position.”

    “”””””””

    What an insult to others of differing opinions
    Who are the intelligent ones
    From my vantage point it seems that the “intelligent ones” past and present are those who have placed barbados in the economic doldrums
    If in doubt check the recycling bin every five-year

    Like

  • ArtaxJanuary 6, 2020 10:08 AM

    David BU

    Don’t worry about Mariposa. Remember, “the intelligent ones understand her position.”

    “”””””””

    What an insult to others of differing opinions
    Who are the intelligent ones
    From my vantage point it seems that the “intelligent ones” past and present are those who have placed barbados in the economic doldrums
    If in doubt check the recycling bin every five-year

    Like

  • @Mariposa January 6, 2020 9:01 AM “What qualifies OSA to be a chaiman of Liat a profession that requires aviation background.”

    So did Jean Holder the former chair have an aviation background?

    Like

  • @David January 6, 2020 9:10 AM “We all know when Richard Branson ended up as far as qualifications go.”

    Don’t call them qualifications David. Use the term certification.

    Branson IS qualified to do the job he has been doing so long, because he doing it good, int he?

    Does he have a bunch of certificates in whatever? Maybe not, so…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mariposa

    I know you’re FULLY AWARE I’m not the original author of the comment: “The intelligent ones understand your position,”………. and that it was posted to BU on January 1, 2020 at 2:24 PM by ANOTHER individual.

    I was merely REMINDING David BU of the comment.

    As such, that individual would be in a better position to RESPOND to: “What an insult to others of differing opinions.”…………

    ………….. and ANSWER your question re: “Who are the intelligent ones?”

    RE: “From my vantage point it seems that the “intelligent ones” past and present are those who have placed barbados in the economic doldrums. If in doubt check the recycling bin every five-year.”

    Perhaps you should also DISCUSS your above opinion WITH him as well.

    Thank you.

    Like

  • @Vincent Codrington January 6, 2020 8:38 AM

    “This is one job that I would have advised OSA to decline. It has the potential to compromise his reputation for successful decision making.”
    I agree with you but not for the reasons you have advanced. Let me start by saying I am not an economist but I did one year of economics and half year of farm management.

    1.My question to you is this: if Arthur was all of the economic guru he was made out to be, why did he conclude that the only thing for Barbados to do was to sell land? Isn’t this a sign that he was bereft of ideas?

    According to Dr. Neville Duncan, Arthur failed to re-position the developmental pathway of Barbados when he had a great opportunity to do so. Why didn’t make the correct decision then?

    3 Why did Arthur borrowed so much money to shore up the foreign reserves? Wouldn’t a good decision maker realize early on that more money was being spent than was being made?

    Wouldn’t.Greenland and the Hilton Hotel appear to be examples of poor decision making ?
    World Cricket. Wasn’t that an example in poor decision making? Who owns the Oval?
    Do you honestly feel that a man who could not balance the income and expenditure of Barbados be capable of making fast decisions in a competitive field like airlines if he took the job?

    Like

  • Silly WomanJanuary 6, 2020 3:36 PM

    @Mariposa January 6, 2020 9:01 AM “What qualifies OSA to be a chaiman of Liat a profession that requires aviation background.”

    So did Jean Holder the former chair have an aviation background

    ———”————–

    My point made as u made a comparison to Jean Holder unqualified as i made to OSA
    Evidence is such that Jean being unqualified failed as Chairman
    Therefore why should a better performance be expected of an unqualified OSA
    One would think by now that the past trial and errors through hiring practices by the board would be a lesson to be learned and not repeated
    As for OSA his role as an elder statement should have been sealed as history can be unforgiven

    Like

  • The closest to aviation that i have seen OSA was sitting in first class on his way to barbados
    Aviation profession is a specialized fields and requires experts who are skilled in the world of aviation and understand a broader perspective in relation to communication. Economics
    The factors involved in moving the airline into a global spotlight with an advantage to having better customer repertoire and a whole slew of internal as well as internal factors that will help the company to develop.a competitive spirit worthy of surviving the daily financial stresses

    Like

  • ROBERT

    RE World Cricket. Wasn’t that an example in poor decision making? Who owns the Oval?

    IT IS NOTEWORTHY THAT THE SOUTH AFRICANS, THE NEW ZEALANDERS, THE AUSTRALIANS, THE ENGLISH OR ANY ONE ELSE BESIDES US, DID NOT TEAR DOWN THEIR EXISTING CRICKET GROUNDS, TO BUILD NEW CRICKET STADIA FOR THE WORLD CUPS HELD IN THEIR COUNTRIES.

    DID YOU NOTICE THIS?

    Like

  • @ GP January 6, 2020 7:23 PM

    Yes I noticed that. The points I really wanted to make ( which I did expand on)were : Who made the decision not to install light; it turned out that the game went into the late hours of the day and the absence of lights was a major problem. Made the country look silly. The other point was that after spending so much money on the Oval, it was only belatedly understood that government did not own the Oval . This realization came when government attempted to have some input in the running of the Oval. It is as though you are renting a house and unknown to the owner you make improvements; then to be told you had no right to do so.

    Like

  • THESE ARE THE ACTIONS OF OUR INFERIOR SUPERIORS –FOLK WITH LOW BETZ CELL COUNTS

    Like

  • “The other point was that after spending so much money on the Oval, it was only belatedly understood that government did not own the Oval . ”

    It is quite possible they knew. Corruption masquerading as ignorance.

    Like

  • Let’s look briefly at two projects:
    The Kensington Oval and the Water works new office building.
    If the total sum of these two expenditures was spent on the better delivery of water services and replacing mains, would that not have better?

    The Duopoly Rules

    Like

  • THESE SAME PEOPLE IN POWER ONCE MORE
    IT IS TRUE MR SKINNER YA AINT LIE
    The Duopoly Rules

    Like

  • Dr. Lucas

    There is a growing school of thought which suggests that Arthur’s management of the economy has been overrated.
    However I still think he’s capable of being chairman of LIAT.
    To balance my submission, let me also state that Sinkler’s policies did not work. He is justifiably called a failure as MOF.

    Like

  • William Skinner January 6, 2020 10:51 PM

    “However I still think he’s capable of being chairman of LIAT.”

    I have no problem with you having such an opinion. I think he is over rated. Let me also add that I have the same opinion about Gene Holder also.

    Like

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