0

Ex-Minister Warns Not To Influence Crash Probe

Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin.

Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM and Aviation Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar’s remarks regarding the recent Andros plane crash drew rebuke from Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin, who suggested yesterday that the comments ahead of a completed air accident report could “muddy the water” as officials continue investigations.

Mrs Hanna Martin, former transport and aviation minister, told parliamentarians a mature approach must be taken to avoid speaking on the issues in a way that does not cause for higher understanding among Bahamians.

While Education Minister Jeff Lloyd has also delivered scathing comments regarding the crash, Mrs Hanna Martin singled out Mr D’Aguilar when she referred to the matter in the House of Assembly.

The crash killed six people, including pilot Darren Clarke, 45.

In the wake of the devastating incident, many described Clarke as a “hacker.” The term is used when referring to a person providing transportation services at a reduced price without having the necessary licence to operate in the industry.

Clarke was not licensed to run commercial flights, nor operate multi-engine planes. 

“I also want to take this time to send condolences to the families of the people of North Andros who lost loved ones in the most recent aviation incident,” Mrs Hanna Martin said yesterday.

“Speaking of unlawful activity and the issue of illegal charters, I’ve listened and I have not commented because I have always been of the view that whenever there are investigations going on you do not comment especially if you are the minister because we run a risk of prejudicing the investigation. It’s best to allow your agency to conduct the investigation so that it ascertains the facts.

“I heard the minister speak about political will and I see a subtle effort to deflect from his responsibility as minister. The issue is very plainly that the only political will that is relevant right now is your political will.”

She also said: “But you must take responsibility and you must attack it in a way that you are able to get in front of the issue.

“The issue of illegal charters is one that if you just do a mere research, that the (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is challenged with in the United States. It’s a complicated issue. It’s difficult. When I served as minister, the decals were introduced to allow passengers of the public to know this is a licensed commercial charter, etc. The law changed in 2015 but it has proven difficult from the enforcement point of view and so you have to look at that and so the FAA has been continually challenged.

“We must be very careful how we comment on these things in a way that does not cause for a higher understanding of the population. We want the investigation to take place. We want to ensure that something of this nature never happens again because the price is very high in this instance.

“But I think we have to be mature in how we approach it in a way that does not sort of muddy the water and allow an investigation to take place. Let the report come and out of that the minister will know what we must do next.”

On Tuesday, Mr D’Aguilar said he was shocked by what has been uncovered in recent days as it relates to procedures and policies that allow for pilots, such as Clarke, to work as “hackers.”

The Free Town MP said he has instructed Civil Aviation Authority Director General Charles Beneby to draft a policy document on how to best address the dilemma.

Mr D’Aguilar said the reality that the word “hacker” is so often used in the country’s aviation sector illustrates how serious the state of the country is in.

Meanwhile, reflecting on last week’s tragedy, Mr Lloyd said he does not care whose toes are mashed or egos assaulted – the situation mandates the government take a look at “the rogue circumstances” that exist in the sector.

Several parliamentarians offered their condolences to the victims and their families in the House of Assembly yesterday. A memorial service is planned for the victims on Friday at 10am in North Andros.  

Comments

proudloudandfnm 2 years, 10 months ago

This woman is just clueless. Please never let her become PM!!!

Time to start arresting hackers and confiscating their planes...

1

John 2 years, 10 months ago

the focus already is more on the idea that the pilot was a hacker rather than trying to figure out what caused the crash and/or the recovery of the bodies to help bring closure to grieving family and friends

0

sheeprunner12 2 years, 10 months ago

The pilot is being hailed as a "great Androsian" ........ You would have sworn that he was a crack fighter pilot who was rescuing desperate Vietnam soldiers when this plane crashed ...... And to top it off, the whole damn Cabinet is flying free to Andros for a memorial service for the victims ..... this is overkill - second only to Minnis and his "tears for Dominica" ........ Meanwhile the whole damn country south of Exuma is literally dying from economic stagnation and lack of investment ........... There is NO crying in Responsible Government ........ This country is going to hell in a hand-basket because the leaders are just caught up in "looking good" and "sweet-talking".

1

BahamaRed 2 years, 10 months ago

Seeing as the plane was not fully recovered, most crucial being the engines one can not fully determine if the crash was solely the pilots fault. Not negating the fact that he should have been properly licensed, but how does one place sole blame on the pilot without first examining all the evidence.

For all we may know the plane ran out of fuel, it was indicated he attempted to circle around several times before crashing. It was also speculated that he was turned around after having already arrived to Nassau.

Also he might have been caught in wind shear due to the weather, something that no amount of experience can prevent you from encountering (unless the airport has the required equipment that detects wind shear, and Andros doesn't).

Furthermore, even though it is said he wasn't licenced to fly commercially doesn't mean he wasn't qualified. It just indicates he didn't have the necessary documents. How many people know how to drive but don't own a license. Yes, I am aware the rules and regulations require proper licencing, but we don't know what he was capable of.

So tossing blame solely on the pilot is just a blame game because they have no one else to blame. And frankly it's in poor taste because he's not here to defend himself.

0

B_I_D___ 2 years, 10 months ago

Agreed that the physical evidence should reign supreme for the true cause of this crash...notwithstanding...I wouldn't be surprised if some of her friends or family are financially involved with some of these hackers...just a thought...

0

Socrates 2 years, 10 months ago

i thought accident investigations were exercises based on facts.. if correct, then how can this MP suggest it is possible to 'muddy the water' or 'prejudice the facts'? either he was properly licensed or he wasn't. if the plane ran out of gas, thats an error on his part as i understand they should always have someplace else to go if they cant land. if the aircraft was not properly maintained, thats a fact. if some mechanical failure led to their deaths, thats a fact. so, talk about prejudice of the investigation is nonsense in my view...

0

stillwaters 2 years, 10 months ago

I have never seen this lady speaking on matters with this kind of regularity!!! Why didn't she do this when they were in power???

0

BahamaRed 2 years, 10 months ago

It's always easier to have 20/20 vision when you are on the other side of the table. That's what I dislike about this country, the fact that everything must be politicized.

Six people lost their lives in an accident that may or may not have been preventable, but rather than come together and formulate a plan to prevent this from recurring people are pointing fingers.

And pointing fingers without having full knowledge of the situation, considering the plane was not fully recovered.

Truth be told the focus needs to be on how is this prevented in the future. What is needed to ensure crashes like this are prevented?

0

sheeprunner12 2 years, 10 months ago

You are a classic apologist .......... that is the main problem in this country. Apologists are always careful not to hurt other feelings and seek to make everyone feel good............. We need to stop brown-nosing and kissing ass.

1

proudloudandfnm 2 years, 10 months ago

I'd say the cause of the crash was an unexperienced, unlicensed, untrained pilot, . Witnesses who have flown with him said clearly he had a fear of flying in bad weather. So by all indications that young man was the only cause...

1

BahamaRed 2 years, 10 months ago

So I'm guessing you've had a chance to review the flight log, to see maintenance records on the plane, to examine the engines, and of course to speak to the pilot and ascertain his state of mind.

If you've done these things then you can emphatically state the cause of the crash, and since I know for fact you haven't, shut the hell up.

Making assumptions and accusations and you know nothing.

0

proudloudandfnm 2 years, 10 months ago

Fact. The man was not licensed to fly passengers Fact. The man was not licensed to fly multi engine planes. Fact. The man was not very experienced. Fact. Multiple witnesses said the man had a fear of bad weather.

Assumption. The man killed those people.

1

sheeprunner12 2 years, 10 months ago

That is a FACT!!!!!!! ............. But Androsians are a "close-knit people" ........ that is code for saying that they will cover up the TRUTH about this and other things going on in the wild wild west of Andros.

1

BahamaRed 2 years, 10 months ago

Your assumption is an assumption and not fact, so therefore fact is you're an ASS for making it.

Unless you were on the plane and know exactly what happened you know nothing.

0

Sign in to comment