Guyana’s Public Works Minister who is also tasked with oversight of the aviation sector, Bishop Juan Edghill, has confirmed that the probe into the deadly army helicopter crash last September is still ongoing.

The Minister’s update was occasioned by an article published on a website called Caribbean Life on April 18, 2024, with the title, “Pilot error to be blamed for worst military crash in Guyana”. The article was purportedly written by one, Bert Wilkinson.

“Having read the article, I am compelled to respond to it as the article sought to prematurely draw conclusions on an investigation that is still ongoing,” Edghill said in a statement to the press on Saturday.

He noted that under Section 71 of the Civil Aviation Act 2018, the Minister for Civil Aviation is entrusted with the responsibility of investigating all aviation accidents and incidents in or above Guyana.

He noted that in keeping with the provisions of the Act, on December 9, 2023, he appointed an Investigator in Charge to investigate the unfortunate crash of the GDF’s Bell 412 helicopter, registration 8R-AYA, that occurred on December 6, 2023.

Consistent with international standards and best practices, no one can conclusively pronounce the cause of an accident until the investigation is completed and the Final Report is available, the minister now says, four months later.

“Given that the investigation is still ongoing, it is surprising that the author of the article prematurely concluded that ‘Pilot error will more than likely be blamed for the horrific early December crash of a Guyana Defence Force helicopter’. The author’s claim of speaking ‘to three separate high-ranking Guyanese government officials who all blamed pilot error as the main cause of the crash’ is nothing short of sensationalizing the outcome of the investigation,” the Bishop said.

He claims that since the investigator was appointed, no public statement on the accident has been made.

“I want to respect the investigative process. I urge the media to wait for the official final report to be published before making any assumptions. Let’s exercise caution and refrain from jumping to conclusions until then,” the Minister urged.


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