A GUYANESE pilot who operates a flight training school in Connecticut in the United States died after a small plane crashed off Long Island, New York, on Saturday around midday.
Reports are that Munidat “Raj” Persaud was among three persons who were on board the twin-engine Piper PA-34 aircraft which crashed in the waters off Quogue Beach at about 11:10hrs.
According to the New York Post, one body was recovered from the plane which was on its way to Charleston Executive Airport in South Carolina, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.
The twin-engine Piper PA-34 took off from Danbury Municipal Airport in Connecticut and flew about 60 miles before it crashed, the New York Post reported. “It’s still a search and recovery at this point,” Quogue Village Police Chief Christopher Isola said during a Saturday evening news conference. “The Coast Guard, along with other marine assets, will continue in that effort.”
The report stated that witnesses who spotted the plane nosedive into the water immediately radioed the Southampton police and the U.S. Coast Guard, which dispatched a 47-foot motor lifeboat to investigate.
Pieces of an aircraft — which included a wing and oil sheen — were spotted near the reported crash site, officials said.
At about the same time, there were reports that engine parts washed up on Quogue Beach.
Surfers saw the plane “sputtering and crashing into the ocean” Kevin Raynor, a third assistant chief for the Westhampton Beach Fire Department, told reporters.
“The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause for the accident,” the FAA spokesman said.
Before it took off on its final flight, the plane was flown on Saturday morning from Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut to Danbury Municipal, officials said.
In June 2016, Persaud, along with another pilot flew two Cessna planes out of Guyana illegally under the cover of darkness, leaving officials at the Eugene F Correia International Airport at Ogle in a quandary.
The two Cessna 206 aircraft, bearing registration numbers 8R-GTP and 8R-GMP, were owned by Oxford Aviation which Persaud had headed while in Guyana.
During the early-morning blitz, Persaud long with another pilot whose only name was given as “Vladimir,” departed undetected to Grenada and later island-hopped their way farther north to the island of Anguilla.
This newspaper was informed that one of the aircraft was prevented from moving onward, while the other was allowed to depart for San Juan, Puerto Rico, the following day.
The flights did not have the necessary Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) clearance and permission to fly while a High Court injunction was in place barring the two aircraft from leaving this jurisdiction.
The court matter stemmed from action taken by another company, Domestic Airways, owned by pilot Orlando Charles, which filed litigation for payment for damage reportedly caused by one of the Oxford Aviation planes.
It is unclear what the result of the court matter was.