Munidat Persaud, the Guyanese pilot, who along with two passengers, was killed when his plane nosedived last month into the ocean at Long Island, New York,once had his licence suspended by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for operating an aircraft that was not airworthy.
In fact, the now deceased pilot had violated the FAA’s rules and regulations on several occasions. For each violation, he was either fined, suspended or had his flight instructor licence revoked.
For an incident in July 2010, the FAA suspended his pilot’s licence for 60 days for breaking rules related to operating a plane that was not airworthy and for poor maintenance.
The following year, the controversial pilot was fined US$3000 for similar violations related to flying aircrafts that were not airworthy.
Further to this, in April 2011, Persaud—who operated both the Oxford and Danbury Flight Training in the United States of America— had his flight instructor licence revoked for violating a rule that says no person shall make a false or fraudulent entry into a logbook, record or report.
Just before the fatal crash, the father of two managed to obtain a flight instructor licence again.
The Guyana Standard understands that the 47-year-old pilot owned more than a dozen small planes in the USA—five of which were involved in accidents in both Guyana and the US.
In May 2018, a Manchester man flying one of Persaud’s planes died in a crash near Bennington, Vermont.
And, in November 2017, Persaud was involved in a plane crash in Spokane, Washington. The FAA reported that he hit the runway with his landing gear, retracted and slid 50 feet, doing significant damage to the bottom of his airplane.
During an investigation, the father of two reported that he was going through the pre-landing checklist when he was distracted by the air traffic control tower and a gust of wind that hit the plane.
In another accident in 2016, a student flying a Cessna 172 belonging to Persaud was seriously injured when the plane went down near an airport in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the end of a cross-country flight.
Two years ago, Persaud came to Guyana and opened Oxford Aviation, where he conducted flights to the hinterland regions.
Shortly after the launch of the company, an aircraft was destroyed when it collided with another plane—Cessna 172 model aircraft 8R-JIL at Ekereku, Region Seven.
Five persons were onboard the plane but only suffered minor injuries when it ran off the runway at Ekereku Bottom during takeoff and collided with the Domestic Aviation plane. That aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Domestic Aviation’s pilot, Orlando Charles, took the matter to the courts to be resolved. The active High Court proceedings barred Persaud from operating his two aircrafts in Guyana.
However, just before Oxford Aviation was barred by the court, its second plane crashed in Baramita airstrip, Region One, just five months later making the situation worst for the company.
Following the accidents, Persaud, with the help of another pilot, removed the two planes from the Eugene Correia International Airport. He never returned to Guyana, thereby stalling the court case.