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  • A Gulfstream private jet made an emergency landing in Los Angeles due to cockpit smoke.
  • The jet, owned by singer Karol G, is operated by Helidosa Aviation Group.
  • A similar incident happened in 2021.

Although flying private brings all the perks of luxury and ultimate comfort, there is still always the risk of a safety lapse – something that world-renowned singer and Grammy award winner Karol G learned on Thursday after the private jet transporting her and her team made an emergency landing at a Los Angeles-area airport following reports of smoke in the cockpit.

A tensed mid-air emergency

The aircraft in question is a 2004-built Gulfstream G-400 registered HI1025 and is operated by Helicopteros Dominicanos, more often known as Helidosa Aviation Group. Similar to how other celebrities would incorporate personal trademarks on their private jets, Karol G’s aircraft has a barbed-wire heart on the front fuselage, closely related to the singer’s barbed-wire heart tattoo on her arm.

On February 29th, the aircraft left Hollywood Burbank Airport carrying the pop star and her team members. A total of 16 people were onboard. While the final intended destination is still unknown, the aircraft headed eastbound upon take-off. Shortly after, as the aircraft reached the Cajon Pass, it turned around and headed back toward Los Angeles.

According to the pilots, they experienced a mid-air issue after smoke started filling the cockpit, prompting an emergency return to the nearest airport. Fortunately, at around 21:00, the Gulfstream aircraft managed to land safely at Van Nuys Airport (VNY). With no reported injuries, the passengers could be seen exiting the aircraft and hugging each other on the apron, highlighting how traumatic the mid-air emergency must have been. Investigations into this incident have been launched to determine the root cause of the presence of smoke.

Too much of a coincidence

While it is significantly fortunate that this mid-air emergency with smoke present in the cockpit saw an uneventful landing with zero injuries, it is worth noting that the operating company had a deadly incident involving a plane crash that happened in 2021. However, the final report has not yet been published. It was a fatal crash that occurred on December 15th, with music producer Flow La Movie, his wife, two children, and five other occupants onboard.

The aircraft involved during that accident was a Gulfstream IV registered HI1050. It departed from Santo Domingo La Isabela International Airport carrying two crew members and seven passengers and was initially headed for Orlando International Airport. Shortly after take-off, the flight crew requested an emergency landing at Santo Domingo Las Americas International Airport. Unfortunately, the aircraft crashed into a tree and then into the ground during the landing attempt, killing everyone onboard.

Then, in January last year, the investigators revealed their preliminary findings of a probable cause for the crash, having cited a possible malfunction of the right-wing of HI1050 that occurred during the emergency landing attempt. Their findings also highlighted that the aircraft supposedly underwent maintenance to change the spoiler actuators on the right wing before the fatal flight, and this procedure took about three hours while the passengers awaited at the terminal building.

Concerns arising about Helidosa

Since then, no new findings about the crash have been revealed as the investigation continues. Albeit with this incident involving Karol G – being yet another aircraft operated by the Helidosa Aviation Group in under three years, the public has expressed alarming concern about the organization’s operations, and if any suspicious safety lapses need to be checked before another close-call or worse still, another fatal crash happens again.

What do you think happened to Karol G’s flight? Let us know in the comments below.

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