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Senator Julian Francis. (IWN photo)
Senator Julian Francis. (IWN photo)

A government senator and two pilots discussed landing an airplane at the Argyle international airport construction site in August 2011 but called off the stunt after it rained for two days.

Senator Julian Francis, who is also Minister of Transportation and Works, revealed the plan in Parliament on Friday.

He was responding to a statement by West Kingstown representative, Daniel Cummings, an opposition MP, that pilots were making untoward statements about the EC$652 million airport.

But Francis noted that Jonathan Palmer, whom he described as “one of the nation’s leading pilots” and Mustique Airways have donated a vehicle to be raffled to raise money to help build the international airport.

“Jonathan Palmer, Mr. Speaker, is a daredevil, and so is Jerry Cordice. I am calling their names. These are pilots you can fall asleep with any part of the world, any part of the sky. They have taken all the chances in flying…” Francis said.

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“In fact, Mr. Speaker, when the IADC (International Airport Development Company) was doing the ground breaking for the terminal building, if it didn’t rain for two days, an aircraft would have landed at Argyle because one of those pilots done agree,” Francis told Parliament.

“We went out there, we put cones on the wire, you know, Mr. Speaker. Prime Minister ain’t know that, chairman of the IADC don’t know it. I decide I was going to surprise everybody. But I decided in the end to discuss it. Because if something did happen, they woulda lock me up,” Francis further said.

“And we decided because of the amount of silt, mud that was on the top of the airport strip, one little slide would have created a disaster. But one of those pilots was prepared to land. I had Rudy Daize already put the cone, the marking and wires that were going over, because they were going to dive under them and land down,” Francis said.

4 replies on “Senator, ‘daredevil’ pilots discussed landing plane at unfinished Argyle airport”

  1. Eric Williams says:

    This man is crazy. Crazy as a fox, I say. I am refuting his statement with authority. As an aircraft engineer for Mustique Airways, I worked closely with Jonathan and Jerry and to this day maintain a close relationship with both. From time to time I call Jerry and we discuss issues. Everytime I visit Vincy, I always make a trip to the hangar to chat with Jonathan, JP as we call him.

    These two guys are veterans, and experienced pilots, but for Julian to say that one of these guys agreed to land an aircraft at the construction site at Argyle, is ludicrous. These guys would in no way jeopardize their license and reputation to fulfill some wacko fantasy of Julian.

    My suspicion is that they were taking Julian for a ride, figuratively speaking. My only concern is that the CAA may pay Mustique Airways a visit based on this ludicrous claim by Julian.

  2. I was going to say that I am amazed that the FRANCIS boy would encourage pilots to break the law, put their aircraft and licence at risk, without insurance, because it would not cover them to land there. Then I thought about it, yes he would, because he considers himself above the law, which he certainly is.

    I know both these pilots and can without any hesitation say that this is another lie, it seems to run in the family, its obviously a Francis trait. His cousin Everard Francis is big on lying too. [remember we always know who our mother are, our fathers we cannot always be sure of]

    I was shocked when “Pongo” gave them a car, but I keep in the back of my mind the Cuban embassy rental, wondering if that was the key to the car. Problem is, without realising it, he has actually sold his soul, because now they are telling lies on him and he can’t reply, can’t deny, just has to stay embarrassed and quiet.

    I think all authorities CAA and others should take note, Francis and Francis are building an international airport, I believe they have no regard for the law, they should be questioned about this matter along with the pilots.

  3. Sorry I keep forgetting they are all above the law, do what they want, when they want, to whome they want, with what they want.

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