A Tropic Air Cessna Caravan carrying the acting Prime Minister of Belize, Patrick Faber, Agriculture Minister Godwin Hulse and five other passengers clipped a car on takeoff from Placencia Municipal Airport and ended up in the water at the end of the runway Friday. No one was hurt in the incident, which has sparked an investigation into the safety of the airport. A public road runs perpendicular to the end of the runway but barriers are supposed to block the threshold when the strip is in use. Some witnesses interviewed by local media said at least one of the barriers was raised at the time of the mishap. The Belize government said in a release the barrier was down but the car got around it.
However the car ended up there, the Caravan’s left main gear leg hit the passenger door of the Subaru and it slowed the aircraft to the point where the pilot opted for the water, according to a statement from the airline. The airline said it is working with authorities to determine “what measures need to be implemented immediately to prevent another such occurrence. The plane was taking the politicians on government business to Punta Gorda, about 40 miles south. Faber is filling in for full-time Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is in Houston on vacation.