Delta's 767 being fixed
Stabroek News
September 24, 2002

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Engineers from Delta Airlines are working on the Boeing 767, which made an emergency landing at Timehri early Sunday morning after its right engine caught fire.

The engineers arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri on Sunday night to work on the right engine and the plane is expected to leave in the next two days.

Co-pilot of the aircraft, Steven Tate, had told reporters on Sunday morning that the right engine of the plane had developed some mechanical problems and had caught fire. Flight 104 was at the time carrying 12 crewmembers and 138 mostly Brazilian passengers. The plane had departed Sao Paulo, Brazil and was headed for Atlanta in the USA.

Later in the day another Delta Airlines aircraft, a Boeing 737, arrived from Caracas, Venezuela to transport the passengers to their destination.

Chief Executive Officer of the airport, Leon Romero, was yesterday asked whether Guyana's airport was adequately equipped to deal with a major emergency, including if the Delta aircraft had caught fire. Romero said the Guyana Fire Service could handle such an emergency, but acknowledged that the airport itself did not have facilities to make emergency trips to the hospital.

Public Relations Consultant to the Ministry of Public Works and Communication, Ajay Baksh, said there were adequate emergency measures at the airport to deal with fires and noted that there are about three permanent fire tenders at the airport.

He said if the airport was not up to standard then it would not have received an International Civil Aviation Organisation certificate. Baksh also said the Delta aircraft would have benefited from recently upgraded communication equipment at the control tower, which enables the country's air space to be properly monitored. He said this would have played a major role in guiding the aircraft to land at the airport.

Crashes involving Boeing 767s in the recent past include the November 1996 ditching of Ethiopian Airlines' 767-200ER in the Comoros Islands, which incurred 217 fatalities and the EgyptAir crash in October 1999, into the Atlantic off the coast of Massachusetts in the USA, in which 217 people died.

Reports had been that the pilot had deliberately committed suicide, but this was strenuously denied by EgyptAir and the Egyptian government and the airline had urged US safety investigators to look more closely at possible mechanical explanations for the crash.

However, after its investigation, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in its report that it found that no mechanical failure scenario had resulted in airplane movements that matched the flight data recorder data from the accident airplane. As a result the NTSB determined that the probable cause of the EgyptAir flight 990 accident was the airplane's departure from normal cruise flight and subsequent impact with the Atlantic Ocean as a result of the pilot's flight control inputs. The reason for the pilot's actions was not determined.

On September 11, 2001 both the American Airlines flight with 92 people on board and the United Airlines flight with 65, which were deliberately flown in the World Trade Center in New York by terrorists were 767s.