PARAMARIBO--An aircraft owned by local commuter carrier Blue Wing Airlines slipped off the runway at an airstrip in the hinterland on Thursday. There were no injuries reported.
The incident happened at Lawatabiki in District Sipaliwini; eye witnesses reported that the aircraft – a Russian-made Antonov – lost power as it descended. With its engines off it soared in and touched down at the airstrip, but skidded off the runway at the end, leaving a muddy track through the brush. “God really did His work here,” one man can be heard saying in a video that someone shot with a mobile phone. It shows a crowd of villagers who hurried over to render assistance to the passengers.
It is unclear how many people were on board the aircraft. It is also not clear if the plane was damaged in the incident.
Blue Wings Manager Amichand Jhauw has confirmed the incident, but denied the reports that the engine had stopped working. Noteworthy is that Blue Wings has had its share of accidents over the years.
In 2010 and 2014 two Russia-made aircraft of this Blue Wing commuter airline crashed in the hinterland, killing all passengers and crew; Jhauw’s wife had been the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft that crashed in 2014. His brother Prem Anand Jhauw died last year when a – non-Blue Wing – aircraft he was doing a charter flight with, crashed in the village of Apura in southwestern Suriname.
Jhauw also started Caribbean commuter carrier Fly All Ways airline in January 2016. In August last year, the airline introduced its scheduled service between Suriname and Guyana and Guyana and Barbados, but by October reports were surfacing that the start-up was in financial trouble. It has since ceased all flights to the Caribbean islands it had begun servicing. Jhauw announced in January that the airline was re-organising its operations and destinations base, and as a result, suspending scheduled flights and returning to charters for a brief period effective January 15, 2017.