Published On: Thu, Oct 30th, 2014

Official press release: Skyway Airways accident off the coast of Sint Maarten

Short 360-300 D-CFXB FedEx FeederPHILLIPSBURG - On Wednesday, October 29th at 6:39 pm a Short SH36 aircraft operated by Skyway Airways departed from Princess Juliana International Airport en route to San Juan. Shortly after take-off, during the initial climb and at 200 feet of altitude, Juliana Tower lost contact with the aircraft and it could no longer be perceived on the radar.

Based on the information gathered, we now know that the aircraft crashed into the waters just off the coast of Sint Maarten. Only two pilots were on board the plane upon departure, the body of one pilot was recovered while the other pilot is still missing. The names of the pilots involved in the accident will be released pending proper identification. The Sint Maarten Civil Aviation Authority (SMCAA) investigation into the cause of the accident is in its preliminary stage and investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB will be travelling to Sint Maarten to assist the department with the ongoing investigation.

The accident occurred in the Territory of Sint Maarten and therefore the Sint Maarten Civil Aviation Authority (SMCAA) will be leading the investigation. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) ANNEX 13 Accident Investigation provides guidance on the role of the different States with regards to an aircraft accident investigation. The State of Registry for the aircraft; the State of which the accident occurred and the State of Manufacturer all has a role to play in conducting the investigation. The aircraft, Short SH36 was manufactured in the United Kingdom as such the AAIB will assist with respect to this area of the investigation. The aircraft was registered in the United States of America and Skyway is a US FAA part 135 certified cargo operator as such the NTSB  and FAA involvement is also required.

The investigators from AAIB will all be arriving on Sint Maarten on October 31, 2014 to assist the SMCAA with the investigation into the cause of this crash. Please bear in mind that this can be a very lengthy process that can take some months before there are any definite answers on what caused this unfortunate accident. Additionally persons are advised that if you may encounter debris in the coastal waters, that they believe to be parts of the plane, please call the Sint Maarten Civil Aviation Authority (SMCAA) at +1721545 4226.

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