Cargo plane forced to make emergency landing

Third incident at airport in two months

A cargo plane apparently experienced engine problems as it came in to land Tuesday afternoon in Grand Cayman, prompting a full emergency alert at Owen Roberts International Airport. 

Roads around the airport were closed and fire and ambulance crews were called to the scene at 2:22 p.m. 

The plane, an IFL Group twin-prop contracted to transport cargo for Cayman Airways, landed safely at 2:45 p.m. No one was injured. 

Acting Fire Chief Johnny Bodden said the plane’s crew reported that the starboard engine had shut down. There were two people on board the aircraft, which was carrying just over 5,000 pounds of fuel. 

This was the third reported emergency landing at the airport this year. Last month, a DHL plane carrying flammable goods was forced to make an unscheduled, emergency landing at the airport when one of its engines failed. That plane was still on the tarmac at Owen Roberts on Tuesday. 

Earlier in January, another IFL Group plane chartered by Cayman Airways veered off the runway and into the grass, forcing the airport to shut down for four hours and resulting in a series of delays. 

According to Kafara Augustine of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, Tuesday’s incident did not delay scheduled flights. 

Traffic around George Town was snarled for about half an hour as motorists were rerouted away from the airport. 

Neither Cayman Airways nor the IFL Group responded to requests for comment by press time. 

Mr. Bodden said initial reports suggesting there had been a fire on board were inaccurate, based on a false indicator in the cockpit. 

Emergency crews stood down just before 3 p.m.  

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Fire crews were on standby during and immediately after the emergency landing. – PHOTO: JEWEL LEVY
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