State carrier Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has taken disciplinary action against three employees following an incident involving one of its aircraft on a flight to Caracas, Venezuela last month.
Industry sources close to CAL confirmed to the Express yesterday that a trainee mechanic was dismissed while the pilot on the aircraft and another employee have been suspended pending further investigations into the incident on October 26.
Flight BW300, bound for Caracas with four crew and 44 passengers, returned to Piarco International Airport, after a section of exterior paneling became detached on lift-off at 6.49 a.m.
The aircraft, an ATR72, landed at 7.15 a.m. without incident.
The passengers and crew deplaned and were transported to the terminal where passengers were offered refreshments as they awaited the resumption of their flight, CAL said in a statement on its website last month.
Following authorisation from the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority, CAL said it removed the aircraft from its position on the runway where the captain, in keeping with safety protocols, had switched off the engines on landing. The aircraft underwent an inspection as part of an investigation into the event.
No other damage to the aircraft was noted then.
All 44 passengers of the original flight boarded a replacement aircraft and Flight BW300 departed at 10.30 a.m. for Caracas.
Contacted for comment yesterday on the dismissal and suspension of its employees, CAL issued a statement through head of corporate communications, Clint Williams.
The statement read: "As a result of findings coming from the investigation into the incident involving Flight BW300 of October 26, 2012, Caribbean Airlines has reviewed all relevant safety procedures and is taking appropriate action in accordance with good HR practices."