Solair clarifies Dash 8 incident

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BY BARNABAS MANEBONA

SOLOMON Airlines Limited (SAL) say their pilots were confident all the time that the under carriage was positioned for safe landing during the Dash 8 H4-SOL incident at Lata last week.

In their side of clarification over the incident, Colin Sigimanu the Manager Commercial for Solomon Airlines Ltd said from gathered information from their engineering and operations departments, the decision taken by the pilots not to land at Lata was precautionary as it was best to return to Honiara where the maintenance facility and tooling is.

“This is so that our Engineers could take a thorough look into the indicator reading,” said Sigimanu.

“Our Pilots were confident all the time that the under carriage was positioned for safe landing. The aircraft did land normally in Honiara on its return and the indicator mis-reading has been rectified.”

When querying through to the Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands (CAASI) last week, CAASI Acting Director Brian Halisanau also revealed to Island Sun that Dash 8 H4-SOL’s recent incident said to have its tyres faulted for landing is an isolated electrical indicator malfunction issue caused by an intermittent micro switch on the loose landing gear door.

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This is obvious because the Pilot’s report stated that the green light was intermittent said the CAASI Acting Director.

He said the flight crew however have correctly acted in accordance with their approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and this is what is expected of them.

“There are no safety concerns from what we are seeing from the regulatory side but we will be waiting for the airline to send us their report and corrective or preventive action plan so we can close our incident report,” said the CAASI Acting Director when asked if there is any assurance for the general public as the recent incident has raised fear towards the plane’s operating for the airlines.

More than 20 passengers on board the Solomon Airlines Dash-8 aircraft flight destined for Lata were relieved after landing safely back to Honiara last week Tuesday after the aircraft was said to fail three attempts to land because its tyres were facing a technical situation of not functioning.

The pilots then according to passengers decided to fly the aircraft back to Honiara after the third attempt in which luckily, the tyres worked when approaching Henderson Airport enabling the aircraft to land.

“It could have been a different story if the tyres did not work on our return,” said relieved passengers after landing back at Henderson Airport around 2.30pm.

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