Saab plane damaged for second time at airport

Wind gust damaged parked aircraft

The Saab prop plane sustained damage to its nose and fuselage in stormy weather at the weekend.

The newest plane in Cayman Airways’ fleet will be out of action for around two weeks after being damaged in stormy weather over the weekend.

The Saab 340B+ aircraft, which transports passengers between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, sustained damage while parked on the tarmac at Owen Roberts International Airport on Saturday morning.

Airline officials said a strong gust of wind had caused the plane to shift and collide with a ground power cart. Images of the plane show a substantial dent in the nose and a smaller gash in the fuselage.

According to Cayman Airways the fiberglass nose cone can be replaced, but the damage to the fuselage requires a structural repair to be designed by the manufacturer.

It is the second time the Saab prop plane has been out of action after being damaged while parked up overnight at Owen Roberts airport. In March, the aircraft sustained minor damage from the jet blast of a private aircraft as it was maneuvering on the ramp at the airport. Cayman Airways initially used its two Twin Otter planes, which previously served the route, as backup. Now the airline has rented an interCaribbean Airways Embraer 120 turboprop to fill in until the Saab is back in action.

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Airline CEO and President Fabian Whorms said, “The severe weather conditions experienced on Saturday morning subsequently became Tropical Storm Colin after passing over Cayman, and whilst it is very unfortunate that the aircraft was damaged during this severe weather, we are at the same time very pleased that interCaribbean was able to mobilize one of their E120 aircraft and crew so quickly to help us ensure minimal disruption for our valued passengers.”

Despite the two incidents, Mr. Whorms said the aircraft had proven extremely reliable in its four months of full-time service on the Brac route.

“Unlike the other aircraft types in our fleet, we currently only have one Saab 340 aircraft, but its strong dispatch reliability has ensured that there have been virtually no unplanned service interruptions for mechanical reasons,” he said.

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  1. The picture of the Saab stopped at the airport show the irresponsible management at the airport , why things like this happens.
    I have always seen at airports when a aircraft is stopped that wheels are chalked for safety of the aircraft , and why the equipment was not properly stored / secured says again that there is not much responsibility at the airport .
    This whole thing should be investigated and make some heads roll . Just look at what this is costing the taxpayers just because of negligence.

  2. Very unfortunate and also very expensive in terms of repair costs and hire of a replacement aircraft. All this could have been avoided if the aircraft had been properly secured for the prevailing weather conditions. Yet another example of lack of accountability within Government as it seems there will be no consequences for those responsible.
    There is some irony in Mr Whorms’ comments lauding the reliability of this aircraft over the 4 months it’s been in service.The aircraft is performing well, it’s the ground crew that are not.

  3. I think it helps if you make sure the parking brake is on! As a former pilot I find this completely unbelievable and more than a bit suspicious. That isn’t a little Cessna, it’s at least 10 tons of aircraft and apparently there weren’t any other reports of damage at ORIA that day.

  4. Good point Roger , all this could have been avoided ” IF ” you had responsible management / ground crew/ /Captain .
    I think that the Captain of the ship / Aircraft should have the responsibility of the craft at all times until that Captain has turned that craft over to a other Captain /Commander , management of dock/airport has the responsibility to make sure that rules are followed by the employees .
    A good responsible Captain don’t dock his ship and leave it without knowing that the ship is properly secured .

    I really think that the damages of the Saab airplane should be looked into and addressed, so that it never happens again. Look at what negligence and irresponsibility has cost , I estimate this could cost about $200,000. Before it is completely repaired. I don’t think that insurance is going to cover this cost because it has been said that it was caused by the wind , act of nature / god .