The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) announced the preliminary report on the recent American Grumman G-21 amphibious aircraft accident that occurred on 17th February 2011 at Al Ain Airport. The investigation revealed that the aircraft had departed from Al Ain International Airport, UAE, at 16:07 UTC.
Shortly after liftoff, the aircraft veered to the left and crashed at taxiway “K” which is parallel to the takeoff runway. The marks that were left by the aircraft at the taxiway exhibited that it had impacted the ground in nose down and left bank attitude. No signs of inflight breakup or pre-impact fire were observed in the vicinity of the accident site.
The initial collected documents brought to the investigation teams knowledge that the aircraft was modified in sometime before entering the UAE, the team is in ongoing communication with the American National Transport Safety Board (“NTSB”) for obtaining more exact information from the aircraft records.
During its stay in Al Ain from the period between 24th August 2010 until the date of the accident, the aircraft was kept parking inside a hangar which owner witnessed that he didn’t experience any maintenance or preservation work since the aircraft entry. The owner added that only some preventive maintenance works were performed in the day of the accident in addition to activities pertinent to installation of extra fuel tank with no exact information of whether the tank was fixed at its place onboard the aircraft, connected to the fuel system or refueled.
According to the Federal Aviation Regulations of the United States, the aircraft was not required to be equipped with flight recorders which may prolong the time of investigation that will be directed towards efficient alternative means such as thorough lab examinations performed on certain pieces of the wreckage.