Tuesday, August 2, 2011


There are, quite obviously, a lot of questions concerning the Caribbean Airline (CAL) crash in Guyana in the early hours of Saturday morning that can't and won't be answered until the investigation by the American National Transport and safety Board (NTSB) is concluded. One thing is certain, the Americans will not allow any cover up and we will all sooner or later learn the truth. I suppose that we ought to be grateful for small mercies!

However, one of the questions that can and should be answered right away is how come CAL says that it has "a proud 70 year track record" of being accident free? Let's start from the beginning: First of all, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) defines an aviation accident like this:

"An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil
Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an
aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft
with an intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a
person is fatally or seriously injured, the aircraft sustains damage or
structural failure or the aircraft is missing or is completely inaccesible."

So, it is quite clear that according to the best definition from the highest aviation authority in the world that the CAL aircraft suffered an accident ... and a serious one at that ... on Saturday 30th July, 2011 in Guyana. Also, it is also clear that BWIA never had an accident in its proud history. So, I can hear you say, what's the problem?

The problem is that CAL is not a 70 year old airline with a 70 year old track record! It is only four years old and as fledgling airline has had what you might call a "fledgling" accident. You can test this assertion fairly easily. If CAL is simply BWIA re-branded and is "a rose by any other name" then CAL would be liable for all of BWIA's debts and prior responsibilities. But CAL is not liable for BWIA's debts and obligations. Ask the former employees of BWIA, many of whom feel that they were unfairly shafted when the last Government shut down BWIA and threw many of them out on the street. These former employees were told that they could sue the defunct BWIA if they wanted, but that nothing from nothing was nothing and CAL was a brand new airline!
In other words, the Government took what it wanted from the old BWIA and created a new entity that was CAL. Heck! They even sold the BWIA landing slots in London! (And that's yet another scandal waiting to explode!)

Now, it may be that CAL's safety procedures are similar to, or even identical to the defunct BWIA. It may also be that CAL has taken a lot of good things from BWIA, including but not limited to some of its old employees (like pilots and engineers). But it is not BWIA re-branded. It is a brand new airline. It does have various different procedures and ways of doing business which may or may not be better than BWIA's. But it is disingenuous to say the least that it has a "proud 70 year old track record". It doesn't. It is not BWIA and those who are trying to piggyback CAL's safety record onto that of BWIA's are not doing that now defunct airline any service, nor are they being fair to the former employees of BWIA or the travelling public. Frankly, they are being dishonest! CAL's track record is only four years old! No more and no less!

And you know what? The people who have to make decisions concerning insurance and viability are not going to be fooled by the persons who are spouting this '70 year' nonsense. But then, I suppose those people, because they have no respect for us and believe that lieing to us has no consequences whatsoever, know that they can get away with nonsense like this. And you know what? Maybe they are right! That's what makes this all the more galling!


  1. And what about all the BWIA shareholders, many of who proudly invested their few hard-earned dollars because they worked with the ariline many years and/or out of patriotic pride, only to get a glorified financial version of a kick in the pants at the end of the day?

  2. First class Blog, Robin. Keep up the good work.

  3. we need more of this to expose the rout cause of this accident

  4. I just wish this could get into the mainstream press. Thanks for expressing it so well, Robin.

  5. the accident has ended -- now lets go dack and find where it started -- this may be a few years in the making.