Two dead in Cayman Brac plane crash

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Two men died when a small plane crashed late Sunday night on Cayman Brac, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said. 

The plane, which authorities described as a light aircraft, went down around 11pm Sunday in the area of the Bluff.  

Remains believed to be those of the victims of the plane crash were found at or near the accident site. Police later said one of the victims was from Mexico, the other was from Colombia. 

Several residents on the eastern end of Cayman Brac heard the plane circling prior to it coming down.  

One of those residents, Glenn Robertson, said he saw the small aircraft – a one-engine Cessna 210 – circling over his home. 

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“There was really low cloud cover and it was popping in and out of the clouds,” Mr. Robertson said.  

On the last pass, Mr. Robertson said the craft went right over his home. “It was pretty low, but it didn’t feel like it was going to crash into the house,” he said. “It didn’t skim the roof or anything like that.”  

Cayman Brac Power and Light General Manager Jonathan Tibbetts said, when the plane did start to descend, it clipped one of his company’s power poles and crashed. There were no electrical wires attached to the pole, so power was not affected.  

“It took about 15 feet off the top of the pole,” Mr. Tibbetts said, adding there is a largely undeveloped subdivision in that area – the ‘Bluff Edge Estates’ – and only one house has been built there since the development began about two years ago.  

The lone house in the subdivision – belonging to Mr. Robertson – is located about a quarter-mile away from the crash site.  

There is a paved road in the subdivision area near where the plane crashed and Mr. Tibbetts said it was possible the pilot may have been trying to land on it.  

Mr. Robertson, who went down to the crash scene late Sunday, said it appeared as though the plane’s pilot had tried to land on Booby Bird Drive in the subdivision, but clipped the power pole and spun off into the bush instead.  

RCIPS dispatched its Air Support Unit to the area and local police and fire crews responded to the scene overnight. 

Cayman Brac District Commissioner Ernie Scott said early Monday that officials knew little about the aircraft’s origins. Mr. Robertson noted that the plane had clear markings that indicated it had come from Mexico. 

Later in the day Monday, police confirmed that the Cessna had apparently not registered
any flight path for its journey. The plane was also carrying tanks of fuel on
board. 

“It had about ten containers of 60 litres each,” said RCIPS Chief Inspector
Raymond Christian. “Some of the containers still had fuel in them.” 

Mr. Christian said police would start a full sweep of the area Tuesday,
looking for any missing parts of the plane as well as anything that may have
come out of a cabin prior to its crash landing. Mr. Christian said no drugs were
found in the small aircraft or in the immediate area, but he noted that a full
search had not yet been done. 

The United Kingdom’s Air Accident
Investigation Branch was due to take over the crash site on Tuesday, when its
agents are scheduled to arrive in the Brac. 

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The plane crash scene on the morning of 15 November 2011
Glenn Robertson

brac plane crash

Police block off the scene near a plane crash on Cayman Brac. Two people were confirmed dead. – Photo: Ed Beaty
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