Bahamas cites poor decisions by crew as cause of plane crash

Nassau: Investigators looking into a small plane crash that killed a prominent Christian minister and eight others last year have found it was likely caused by bad decisions by the crew during stormy weather, the islands' civil aviation department has said.

A Learjet carrying the Rev Myles Munroe and members of his Bahamas Faith Ministries crashed on November 9 after striking a shipping crane as it attempted to land in Grand Bahama. The crash killed everyone on board, including Munroe's wife.

The islands' civil aviation department said yesterday its accident investigation unit had concluded its probe into the crash. In a final report, investigators determined that poor decision-making by the crew as they attempted to descend below the authorised altitude without being able to see the runway area was the probable cause.

The jet was trying to land during heavy rain and reduced visibility as a storm front passed over the area. During a second attempt at landing at the Grand Bahama International Airport, the crew struck a crane at a shipyard during a "go-around procedure," according to the statement issued yesterday from the civil aviation department.

The right outboard wing, landing gear and right wing fuel tank separated from the plane on impact, according to the department. The aircraft spun out of control for roughly 1,578 feet before slamming into a recycling facility.

Nobody on the ground was hurt. Munroe was a best-selling author, motivational speaker and influential Christian pastor who frequently spoke on television and gave sermons around the world. At the time of the crash, he and the others were flying to a global leadership forum that he had organised in the Bahamas.

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