SkyBahamas passenger feared ‘we were going down’



Tribune Staff Reporter


TIM Aylen said he was overcome with fear that “we were going down” after he witnessed a propeller of a small SkyBahamas Airlines flight stop as oil dripped from it minutes after the plane left Nassau headed to Freeport, Grand Bahama.

As four women on the plane held hands and continuously prayed throughout the ordeal, Mr Aylen said his mind was fixated on whether the remaining propeller would malfunction as well.

Mr Aylen, a photographer who captured a portion of the incident on his cellphone, was one of five passengers and three crew on the flight. It was scheduled to leave the capital at 11.30am but left 30 minutes earlier than planned.

He said the plane had just left the Lynden Pindling International Airport and was somewhere over the shallow waters of the Berry Islands when he heard a disturbing noise.

“About 10 minutes into the flight we all heard this loud bang and the plane shuddered. There were a lot of concerned voices and some people screaming out loud because the left prop had stopped,” a shaken Mr Aylen told The Tribune.

“I moved over to that window and saw oil coming out of the engine. At that time the stewardess said everything was fine and she said we would make it back to Nassau. The pilot also came on and said we were just flying on one engine. There was just a lot of concern because we didn’t know what happened.”

He continued: “I really did think we were going down. You do think that very quickly because I wondered if the other propeller would go too. I was shaken up. I don’t know what kind of panic was going on inside the cockpit but at no time did we know and the pilots made it seem easy.”

Mr Aylen said when the plane landed in Nassau, several fire trucks met it on the runway. The airline then sent a replacement aircraft to fly him and the other passengers to Grand Bahama.

According to airline CEO Captain Randy Butler, shortly after take off, pilots reported a “strange” noise and apparent engine trouble. They were able to fly the plane safely back to Nassau without incident, he said.

Capt Butler told The Tribune that all passengers were in good condition, except one, who reportedly was hospitalised.

A full investigation into what caused the incident is expected to take place today, Capt Butler said.

Flight fears on video, see tribune242.com


John 8 years, 3 months ago

While twin engine aircraft are designed to fly on just one engine the left engine , as was the one lost in this case, is the most critical one to lose. The end result will depend highly on the skill and experience of the pilot and by Gods grace it was a safe landing.


Godson 8 years, 3 months ago

Prayer should not be like a can of corn beef, to be eaten in rough times. It should be part of our daily bread. However, have you registered yet to vote in the next general election? If not, GET POLITICAL and be a part of the positive change - register now and encourage others to do so as well.

'GET POLITICAL', as apart from 'GETTING into the POLITICS'. By registering and GETTING POLITICAL, you are empowered to make a choice; with politics, the choice is already made for you and don't necessarily have to be a positive choice.

'GETTING POLITICAL' does not mean that you are an adherent and follower of any 'party'. It is a statement that you deiced to retain the power of choice to yourself.

LET'S GET POLITICAL campaign encourages and promotes your empowerment. EMPOWER YOURSELF!!! REGISTER TODAY!!!

Godson "Nicodemus' Johnson


Publius 8 years, 3 months ago

Okay, but what does this have to do with engine failure on a domestic flight?


Chucky 8 years, 3 months ago

John , you are full of bs, the plane doesn't care which engine is pulling it along, just as long as there is one!


John 8 years, 3 months ago

Ok chicly. I'll pretend to be ignorant like you


John 8 years, 3 months ago

FROM Life in the skies :"In an aircraft’s cockpit, the captain always sits on the left side and this has raised queries as to why he never sits on the right. The reason for this in a commercial jetliner seems to be rather historical. It is like asking why some cars are left-hand drive whilst others are right-hand drive

At the end of the World War I, most fighter aircraft were designed and fitted with rotary engines. When it came to steering these rotary-engine aircraft, turning to the left was easier because it followed the torque of the engine, whereas turning to the right was harder, as it was against the torque (twisting) forces. Hence, it would require more rudder movement to compensate for the forces. Because of this, pilots chose to turn left as a more convenient manoeuvre and thus, most traffic patterns in the air around airfields involved mainly left turns.

When bigger planes were designed with side-to-side seating, the co-pilot was made to sit on the right. The left-hand seat was made exclusively for the captain. It comes with complete flight instruments and controls. This seat also afforded better visibility with the assumption that more frequent left turns are made during the flight.

During the early days of aviation, the fact that the pilot was occupying the left seat made it logical for the aircraft to keep to the right side along the airways. Early aviators would often navigate visually by following roads and railways. Opposite traffic along the same line would then pass each other on the left. Because of the tradition that arose from the rotary engines, jet planes today continue having the captain sitting on the left-hand side of the cockpit."


DillyTree 8 years, 3 months ago

A frightening experience to be sure, but the pilot did exactly what he was trained to do. Planes can and do fly on one engine.

For those crediting God with this "miraculous deliverance", this is silly, as credit should go to the pilot(s) and the people who trained them. And for those who say the pilot's hands were guided by God, more nonsense. If God were so damn benevolent, why did He allow the engine to quit in the first place?


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