Local firm to investigate forced seaplane landing

A seaplane belonging to Turtle Airways made an emergency landing in a cane field at Saweni, Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

A LOCAL company has been appointed to investigate the forced landing of a Turtle Airways Ltd seaplane in a sugarcane field in Saweni, Lautoka on Monday.

In response to questions from this newspaper, the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji said any queries in regards to the incident would have to await the outcome of the investigation.

“The authority has appointed Aviation Support Services (Fiji) Ltd as the investigator in charge whose report will have to be awaited which will address your queries,” said a CAAF spokesperson.

The Beaver aircraft was transferring four passengers from an island resort to Nadi when it allegedly developed a mechanical issue, forcing the pilot to land in a cane field.

No one was injured in the incident and local airmen have labelled the pilot a hero for safely navigating the aircraft onto the cane field with minimal damage and no injury or loss of life.

This is not the first time that Turtle Airways Ltd seaplanes of a similar type have been involved in an incident.

In December 2017, a Turtle Airways Ltd Beaver made a forced landing in Wailoaloa Bay shortly after take-off, after the aircraft allegedly developed an issue and lost altitude. In August 2016, another Turtle Airways Ltd seaplane sank in waters off Vomo Island, also allegedly after developing engine trouble. |

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