Brac airport reopens for small aircraft

| 07/01/2017 | 26 Comments
Cayman News Service

CIFS fire officers were transported to Grand Cayman, 5 January 2017

(CNS): Following the accident Thursday on the Cayman Brac runway, in which one of the fire trucks overturned during a routine speed test, authorities say that the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport reopened for the smaller Cayman Airways Limited aircraft Thursday evening, though the jet services has not yet resumed. Meanwhile, one of the two officers injured in the incident, which happened on 5 January, remains in hospital in stable condition, while the other officer has been treated and released.

Both officers were transported by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s helicopter to Grand Cayman to the Health Service Authority (HSA) Thursday afternoon, according Government Information Services.

The fire truck involved in the crash was removed from the airport runway after the accident analyst completed his on-site assessment, enabling normal airport operations to resume for all smaller CAL aircrafts Thursday evening.

Senior management with the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS), Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) and other stakeholders are in the process of identifying an interim strategy that will support the resumption of jet services at the earliest opportunity.

It is a requirement that a fire truck be on standby when the jets land. The other CIFS truck on Cayman Brac belongs to the domestic branch of the fire service and therefore remains on call for fires elsewhere on the island.

The GIS release said that full investigations are being conducted by the RCIPS as well as an independent accident analyst. In addition, the CIFS is arranging for the manufacturer of the Osh Kosh T-3000 truck to send one of their experts to assess the vehicle, which was purchased directly from them in 2006.

The authorities stated that mandatory speed testing of the fire trucks that support airport operations is conducted monthly by the fire service in accordance with regulatory requirements that must be complied with by all rescue and fire fighting service (RFFS) providers.

“Under the RFFS regulations, systems and procedures must be in place to ensure the best possible response time in the case of an emergency. The operational objective of the RFFS procedure is to achieve a response time not exceeding two minutes to any point on the runway. ‘Response time’ is defined as the time between when the call is initially received and the time when the first responding vehicles arrive.

“Speeds between 65 to 69 miles per hour are attained during speed tests as well as in response to an actual aerodrome emergency. These speeds comply with those allowed under the RFFS regulations,” the release said.

The authorities further explained that fire officers are required to hold a Group 4 driver’s licence and must undergo specialist training to qualify to drive a fire truck. “Driver skill and expertise is augmented by technology, including integrated on-board safety systems which alert the driver before excessive speeds are attained.”

The release said, “In the 12 years since the last airport based fire truck accident occurred on the runway at Owen Roberts International Airport in January 2005, an average of 144 performance tests for speed have been conducted at that location and a similar number have been executed in Cayman Brac without incident. In addition to the monthly performance checks, the vehicles also undergo daily inspections as part of shift handover.”

The cause of the crash has yet to be determined pending the completion of the ongoing investigations, however GIS will continue to provide more information as it becomes available.

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Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If the requirement is to reach any point on the runway within two minutes, a given a speed of 60mph covers a mile a minute. Would it not be better to calculate the speed needed to reach this point from departure point to furthest point. Given that the Brac runway is just a little over a mile long and the fire station is not positioned at either extreme, it may require less speed to meet the requirement and arrive at an optimal safe speed. I am no expert in RFFS and only going on what is reported so I stand to be corrected.

  2. Anonymous says:

    thank you mr. lerner. truth hurts for some people.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Better get another truck fast Moses; you know Jimmy and Julie only travels on the jittt:).

  4. Anonymous says:

    And that’s all it should be open for.
    It should be an uncontrolled small aircraft field similar to how LYB operates.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tony Lerner, people with views like yourself implemented the Holocaust!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Speed of between 65 to 69 miles per hour are attained – so when the fire truck comes out of the station, makes a right or left turn onto the runway, it is expected to get up to between 65-69 miles per hour on our airstrip?

    Come on now, be realistic, you are travelling about a half-mile in either direction – that would mean you would have to be travelling a pretty good speed making the initial turn onto the runway.

    How long does it take the fire truck to go from complete stop to 65-69 miles per hour?

    Aside from the supposed implications of saving lives by driving at excessive speed with a truck full of water – you got to also consider the time it takes to slow down this vehicle and maneuver around debris. Realistically if a plane crashes are you going to be driving 65-69 miles per hour with debris scattered all about the runway.

    Driving smart and driving fast are two totally different things.

    Thank God the firefighters are alive, the truck can be replaced, lessons learned and we all move on.

  7. Tony Lerner says:

    The unhappy fact is that the last IQ test of Cayman natives showed an average mean IQ of 75.

    That was in the 1960s. Even if the average IQ has improved since that point in time, I don’t see how it is possible to draw the number of individuals, out of the small native Cayman population, for jobs that require the judgment and insight that higher intelligence affords. Anyone applying for a critical job, such as someone maintaining and using complicated equipment should be IQ tested. If no Caymanian can be found who is competent, bring in an expat from Canada, the UK, or the USA.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you implying that someone with a high IQ cant have an accident?

      Can you do us a favour? If you are resident in Cayman please leave.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just so you know. The driver in this accident is a very intelligent young man. He is not an inexperienced fireman. For you to say he needed his IQ tested is absurd. He is not reckless and is well trained and is one of the top fireman in the Sister Islands. Accidents happen everyday!!

      • Veritas says:

        I would have thought a large fire truck carrying thousands of gallons of water would be hard put to accelerate from a standstill to 70mph and then stop in time before reaching the end of the runway. Would it not be more productive to practice the response time from receiving the emergency call to getting all their gear on and getting the truck out on the runway?.
        No matter how well trained this “young man” was, failing a mechanical problem, he should be held accountable for the horrendous consequences unlike the vehicle inspector who caused mayhem on a public road but whose boss immediately gave him his old job back.

    • Artificial Intelligence says:

      You have got to be the biggest troll or idiot that I’ve come across on this site.

    • Carlton Ebanks says:

      Guess that’s why you dumb ***** ran over a passenger few years ago after Asiana crashed. But then again, forgot your IQ shouldn’t have allowed that to happen.

    • anonymous says:

      To imply that all Caymanians have an iq of 75 is an insult. Caymanians built the Cayman Islands.

      If you are so smart why are you here instead of contributing to your own country?

      Caymanians are tried of people like you. At the next election let us vote for the party that issues no work permits.

      Everyone who is not a Caymanian go home.

      No one likes a smart as*.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Lerner, if you are so displeased with the Caymanian people why do you not return to your own country. I guess maybe your IQ is too low to get a decent paying job there.

    • Anonymous says:

      So very strange when you consider how many Caymanians excel at overseas universities. In past generations Caymanian sea captains were some of the best in the business. Today Caymanian pilots fly all over the world. Do you think that the Caymanian student/sea-captain/pilot were/are given a break because of their low IQ?

      • Anonymous says:

        and you have some of the best painters!

      • Jotnar says:

        Whilst Mr Lerner’s observations are distasteful your response is not logical. He is citing a study which showed the average IQ – that is not necessarily inconsistent with individuals being well above the mean (I would agree that holding an internationally recognised certification such as a commercial airline pilot or a masters ticket is not possible with a low IQ). You are attributing something to him that is he simply didn’t say. He could equally well point out that simply because a number of Caymanians demonstrably have high IQ does not make the entire population clever. In fact, if you are right than the average of 75 may in fact overstate the IQ of the majority.

        Its probably safer ground just to rubbish the original study instead – it was the 19060’s, and one has to wonder if there was any element of bias in a study which apparently set out to make racial comparisons in IQ.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t need a high IQ to drive a firetruck, but you do need good training.

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