Jan 12, 2022

Ill-fated Cessna 172 aircraft belongs to Captain GAF! Featured

It is reported that Captain Gihan Fernando (Captain Gaf) is the owner of the Cessna 172 (Registration No. 4R-GAF) which crashed after making a sudden landing in a paddy field in the Kimbulapitiya area in Katunayake on December 27.

Sakurai Aviation had obtained it from Capt. Gihan for conducting their operations.

The Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Themiya Abeywickrema stated that the plane was flying from Sigiriya Airport to Ratmalana Airport when it crashed while preparing to make an emergency landing at the Katunayake Airport due to a technical fault.

Four people, including its pilots, were injured in the crash and were taken to hospital.

Two of the injured persons were foreigners who were on vacation in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, a similar aircraft belonging to the relevant airline with an instructor and a trainee pilot onboard made an emergency landing off the coast near Beruwala on December 22 afternoon.

No one was injured in the incident and the aircraft too had no damages.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) suspended all flights of Sakura Aviation with immediate effect following the Kimbulapitiya accident in Katunayake.

Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority Upul Dharmadasa said that these steps have been taken until the investigation into the accident is completed.

The chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said that until the investigations are completed, it will not be possible to determine if the company's aircraft maintenance was poor.

The cause of the December 27th accident was reported to be a technical fault.

Meanwhile, the BBC had reported that there are many airlines operating domestic flights and many regulations have been imposed by the CAA.

According to the CAA, the demand for domestic flights has reduced dramatically due to the Covid situation. It stated that currently only a limited number of chartered flights are being operated.

 What are the Sri Lankan regulations on air safety?

· Certificate of Fitness must be obtained before commencing all aircraft operations.
· A qualified Fitness Examiner of the Civil Aviation Authority should validate the Fitness Certificate
· As Sri Lanka is a signatory to the ICAO Chicago Convention, all imported or leased aircraft are required to apply to the Civil Aviation Authority for registration in Sri Lanka.
· The first two letters of all aircraft registered in Sri Lanka should always be "4R"

Documents to be submitted for obtaining the Certificate of airworthiness:

· Owner / Operator Request Letter
· Properly completed application
· Application fee
· Aircraft type certificate
· Maintenance history of the aircraft
· List of major changes
· Weight and Balance Report
· Test flight report
· Copies of the radio license
· A copy of the insurance certificate

It is pointless to check the condition of the aircraft only by checking the documents

Gayan Kanishka Silva, an aeronautical engineer and pilot, told the BBC Sinhala that it was pointless checking the condition of the aircraft just by checking the documents from time to time.

He also pointed out the importance of inspecting the aircraft equipment to ensure that the contents of the relevant documents have been implemented in accordance with the aircraft maintenance program.

The engineer pointed out that by complying with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Standards, the aircraft can maintain a high standard.

In foreign countries, not only the documents of the aircraft but also the fuel and lubricants used as well as the equipment are checked and the accuracy of the relevant documents is checked.

He also pointed out that the non-disclosure of the investigation reports on plane accidents in Sri Lanka is another problem.