Choppers have no certificate to fly


10-April-2012

The SCAA said it will issue a press release explaining the situation, but later told Nation last week’s US drone crash at the main airport took precedence and the communiqué will be sent today.

Meanwhile, a number of our readers have been calling and referring us to an article in which the company claimed its choppers had been certified as safe to fly while others have questioned the safety of the drones operating near houses and in the same airspace with other aircraft.

Former President James Mancham is among those who have been showing concern over the safety of the unmanned US drones, after the crash – the second in four months (See Mr Mancham’s letter in yesterday’s Nation). Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Paul Adam yesterday said there will be no more flights by US drones.

The helicopter company officials declined our journalist an interview after a letter issued last Tuesday by the company’s chief executive Matt Hayes in which he said:

“It is with great regret that I must inform you that Helicopter Seychelles is suspending operations with immediate effect. 

“Over recent months, we have worked tirelessly to re-establish our operation and fully complied with the extremely demanding regulatory requirements of the Seychelles CAA.  We proved we had a good operation, a good team, a good product and a supportive client base.
  “Unfortunately, a mixture of bad luck, commercial forces and some less visible obstructions have stood in our path.

“We are deeply saddened that we cannot honour any future reservations.  We would ask you to make alternative arrangements for your displaced clients and we sincerely apologise for this.”

One of the company’s helicopters was reportedly involved in a minor accident near the company’s base recently.

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