Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Sunday, 25 October 2009

'Hero' pilot's mayday call heard

Capt Robert Mansell
Capt Robert Mansell (Pic courtesy of St Maarten Island

The final mayday call from a British pilot who died after ditching his passenger plane in the Caribbean Sea has been released.

Robert Mansell, 32, originally from Knowle, West Midlands, was hailed a hero when he died while saving his nine passengers by ditching his plane.

In the recording he tells the controllers he has lost an engine.

He was flying between the south Caribbean islands of Curacao and Bonaire on Wednesday when he crashed.

In the recording, Captain Mansell asks for the aircraft controller's attention, then says: "Divi aero one four requesting a switch to Flamingo and priority landing Flamingo, I've lost one of my engines."

Captain Mansell was five minutes short of the destination when he was forced to ditch the twin-engine Britten-Norman Islander.

His employers, Divi Divi Air, said he had used his skills as a "good pilot" to save lives.

Simon Janzen, from the company, said: "He's a hero. 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.

"Other pilots wouldn't have known what to do but he landed the aircraft so that everyone could get out safely."

Bonaire, which along with Curacao is part of the Netherlands Antilles, lies about 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela.

Print Sponsor

'Hero' pilot killed in Caribbean
24 Oct 09 |  Americas

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific