Cause of Dynamic Airways Fire at Fort Lauderdale Airport Undetermined, NTSB Says

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

15 hurt after plane catches fire at US airport.

MIAMI • Fifteen people were injured, one seriously, when an airliner caught fire while taxiing for take-off on an airport runway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the authorities said. Dynamic International Airways, less than six years old and operating a small fleet of jets, sought to carve out a niche of less-trodden destinations that major U.S. carriers don’t fully serve, according to company documents.Investigators are looking for clues about what started the fire aboard a Dynamic Airways flight at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, as passengers are offered alternate flights through the weekend, officials said Friday.The plane that caught fire as it prepared to take off from Fort Lauderdale to Venezuela had no previous incidents or issues, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday as cleanup from the fuel that spilled on the taxiway continued. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said an engine caught fire on the Boeing 767 passenger jet, which was getting ready to depart for Caracas, Venezuela, on Thursday.

The Dynamic Airways plane — a Boeing 767/269 that was manufactured in 1986 and is owned by Utah-based airplane leasing company KMW Leasing in Salt Lake City — lost 45 to 50 gallons of fuel, damaging the asphalt. Mike Jachles, spokesman for Broward County Sheriff Fire Rescue, said 21 travelers were initially transported to Broward Health Medical Center on Thursday for symptoms including knee, back and chest pain. Don Dodson, the director of operations for Dynamic Airways, said airline officials had set up a crisis center, flown in additional airline representatives to help passengers and arranged for a relief flight to take passengers to their final destinations.

Airport spokesman Greg Meyer said the luggage “is being reunited with the passengers” and that they had options to fly to Caracas over the next three days. Once inside the airport, passengers expressed frustration, saying they’d been held in a room for more than an hour and had not heard from the airline. Likewise, FAA and NTSB records show Dynamic — which is privately held — has a clean safety record, with only one serious incident in 2011 when a flight attendant was injured during in-flight turbulence.

An air traffic controller told the pilot “a lot of fluid” was leaking from his left engine and then urgently said the engine had caught fire and that he was dispatching firefighters, according to an audio recording posted by WSVN. Its chief executive officer, Gregg Lukenbill, is a former owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings who previously ran a charter airline, Sky King Inc., that flew professional sports teams and musical acts such as Bon Jovi and Tina Turner around the world, the filing said.

Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency banned the airline from the country in June 2014 after breaching rules governing passenger handling and flights without scheduled landing times, according to the agency. Dynamic began servicing Caracas in July, after several other major airlines ended or slashed service to Venezuela over the government’s refusal to pay an estimated $4 billion the carriers say they have trapped in the country.

Also in New York, Dynamic was sued earlier this year by a group of people irate over cancellation of a round-trip flight that had been scheduled last December from JFK airport to Georgetown, Guyana. For Venezuelans hoping to travel abroad, the options have been severely reduced to little-known carriers such as Dynamic or domestic carriers, which have struggled to import replacement parts because of the country’s economic crisis.

Airline officials said they’ve already started reviewing records for the crew and the plane, which was last inspected in June and had a new engine with less than 200 hours of flight time. The lawsuit said Dynamic kept hundreds of people waiting for hours into the night before cancelling the flight and then failed to inform all of the ticket buyers when it was rescheduled a few days later. Nine crew members were onboard — more than required — and were an experienced team, which helped evacuating passengers quickly and seamlessly, Dodson said.

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