The organization says that lack of and/or unserviceable airport equipment combined with inclement weather could have seriously compromised the crew of American Airlines Flight 331, which crash landed in Jamaica last Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009
A former president of the Jamaica Airline Pilots Association (JALPA) has sent an open letter to both Spirit and American Airlines advising of the high potential for disaster, and requested that they exercise extreme care when dispatching flights into Jamaica in marginal weather and not use Jamaican airports as alternates under any circumstances until the NTSB report is final.
Wesley Sampson and his organization, Mayday Air Jamaica (http://www.maydayairjamaica.com/), had last month on Nov. 19, 2009, in an open letter to Spirit re: its bid to purchase Air Jamaica, expressed grave concerns over the safety of the international travelling public into Jamaica, and the callous attitude of the Jamaican authorities in this regard.
“We note where the FAA had previously downgraded the islands’ airports, the status of which, although reinstated, remains questionable where emergency equipment and facilities are concerned, as this accident shows. It is not reasonable to assume or expect that two experienced American Airlines pilots, trained to the highest standards of aviation safety, simply flew into Jamaica and crash landed in routine operations,” said Sampson.
Mayday Air Jamaica strongly advises the travelling public not to use foreign carriers in inclement weather conditions, and to await the findings of the NTSB and the supervision of the Jamaican government in implementation of the recommended corrective procedures.