The Civil Aviation Department has said that it will wait to complete an investigation into the crash landing of a Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) seaplane near Biyaadhoo Island Resort during a training flight this morning, before considering amendments to flight policy in the country.
The aviation body’s Director General, Hussein Jaleel, confirmed to Minivan News today that no injuries were reported to the two pilots involved in the crash – reported to be the only people on board at the time. The spokesperson said that investigators currently believed the crash had resulted only in structural damage to the seaplane after it came down near an assigned landing point in a reef by the South Male’ Atoll resort.
Jaleel said that he was presently unable to presently reveal many details about the collision, other than that the Civil Aviation Department’s Accident Investigation Committee were now interviewing the pilots involved in the flight as part of ongoing investigations into a possible cause of the crash landing.
An official spokesperson for TMA – which is one of the country’s two largest operators of seaplane services along with Maldivian Air Taxis – was unavailable for comment when contacted by Minivan News at the time of going to press.
However, in terms of the possible need to implement changes in regulation or seaplane policy following the crash, Hussein Jaleel said authorities would wait for investigations to be completed on today’s incident before making any changes. “However, if it is revealed that new policies are required we would ensure we did this,” he added.
When asked about the number of incidents investigated in relation to the country’s seaplane operations from the start of this year, Jaleel said he did not have the exact figures on him at the time of going to press as aviation authorities investigated incidents of varying severity in the course of their work.
However, the aviation department director general told Minivan News that in terms of events like a crash landing, this was believed to be the first case of such an incident occurring in 2011.
Back in December 2010, the Civil Aviation Department confirmed that a collision had occurred between a Maldivian Air Taxi seaplane and another aircraft at Male’ International Airport that resulted in no injuries or major damage being recorded.
Authorities said at the time that investigators had found the collision to be a minor accident involving the wingtip of an aircraft colliding with another craft, an event which was not seen as “a major safety concern” for future operations.