Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Domestic Airlines, Orlando Charles, was this morning fined $200,000 by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan for his failure to provide an Occupational Safety and Health (OS&H) Officer with information in relation to the deadly plane crash which claimed the life of Pilot Randy Liverpool in Eteringbang back in February.
This development comes just one day after an unrepresented Charles was fined $75,000 after he pleaded guilty to three charges, all in relation to the deadly crash. He pleaded not guilty to a fourth.
He pleaded guilty to the charges which stated that he failed to make an application, between February 20, 2019 and March 20, 2019, to the Chief Officer of the OS&H within 30 days, as per procedure; he failed to, between February 20, 2019 and February 25, 2019, give written notice of an accident which led to the death of Liverpool; and he failed to, between February 20, 2019 and February 25, 2019 at Georgetown, provide to OS&H Officer Dwain Vyfhuis with information in relation to the accident which led to the death of Liverpool.
On the first two abovementioned charges, he was fined $25,000 and $50,000, respectively, while on the latter charge he was today fined $200,000 out of a maximum penalty of $500,000. His total fines, therefore, stand at $275,000.
Meanwhile, he pleaded not guilty to a charge which stated that between February 20, 2019 and February 25, 2019 at Georgetown, he, being the employer of Liverpool, failed to keep a register of accidents as required by law. He was granted self bail and is expected to make his next court appearance on September 4 in relation to this matter.
Charles, in addressing the court yesterday, said that he has been a pilot for 18 years. However, he said that the aviation industry is strictly regulated by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority and he acquired a licence to operate and was not aware of the authority’s OS&H regulations. He requested one week to provide the necessary documents to OS&H; his request was granted.
The magistrate ordered that he provides the necessary documents to the relevant OS&H officer on or before Wednesday, August 29.
The matter was prosecuted by Kevin Morgan, a lawyer attached to the Ministry of Social Protection.
In February, Captain Liverpool died when the Cessna 206 he was flying crashed at Eteringbang near the Venezuelan border. It was reported that at the time of the crash the aircraft was shuttling and was seen flying at a low altitude before falling into the jungle.