Sunday, October 25, 2009

Divi Divi Air Britten-Norman Islander accident near Bonaire takes pilot's life

by B.N. Sullivan

Divi Divi AirOn October 22, 2009, a Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander (registration PJ-SUN)ditched in the Caribbean Sea after losing power in the number two engine. The aircraft, operated by Divi Divi Air, was en route from Curaçao to Bonaire at the time of the accident. All nine passengers on the flight survived the impact and were able to exit the aircraft; they were rescued. The pilot did not survive.

The pilot has been identified as Robert Mansell, originally from England. News reports say that he was knocked unconscious in the crash, and passengers were unable to get him out of the aircraft before it sank.

Several news stories about the accident quoted a Divi Divi Air spokesman who called Mansell a "hero" saying, "All the passengers survived and he is the only one missing. If he wasn't a good pilot, he couldn't have ditched it so everyone could be saved."

Condolences to the family and friends of Captain Mansell.