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FEBRUARY ACCIDENTS UNDER INVESTIGATIONS

PNG’s Accident Investigation Committee (AIC) notes four occurrences in the month of February that are currently under investigation. Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation, Walter Schnaubelt in a statement yesterday confirms this.  

The first being on 9th February, 2023 when a North Coast Aviation PAC 750-XL aircraft, registered P2-BJD crashed into a local garden during take-off in Jiwaka Province. On board were four persons; the pilot, two adults and an infant. According to further reports, whilst the two adults sustained minor injuries, the pilot and the infant were severely hurt.

Investigations into this matter commenced on 10th February, 2023. The AIC intends to publicly release a Preliminary Report on the accident investigation on 11th March, 2023.   

The second incident took place the next day, 10th February, 2023 in Sandaun Province. Registered as P2-HFA, the Charter flight from Kiunga, Western Province to Eliptamin in Sandaun Province, encountered difficulties during landing and overran the end of the airstrip sustaining large damage to the propellers and the nose landing gear. Including the pilot, four persons were on board. Reports conclude that none of them attained injuries.

Investigations into this incident are underway and AIC intends to publicly release a Preliminary Report on it on 12th March, 2023. 

The third incident records a Heli Solutions Limited helicopter, registered P2-HSM, emergency landing in Enga Province on the 18th of February, 2023, after attaining inflight tail rotor damage.  Including the pilot and the loadmaster, six passengers were on board, none were reported to have been injured. 

Like the previous, an investigation team was engaged to the case the very next day and AIC intends to release a Preliminary Report on it on 12th March, 2023.

The recent incident took place in Port Moresby on the 20th of February this year involving the Air Niugini Limited Fokker 70 aircraft, registered as P2-ANT. Reports mentioned the aircraft experienced while descent a cabin depressurisation, a situation normally classified as a serious emergency.

67 persons were on board, of which two were infants. 22 passengers were injured, from which, seven hospitalized bled from the ears and nose, six are under review and nine had been discharged. A further follow up will be made to find out the extent of injuries sustained.

Despite the fact that in such situations the Civil Aviation Act requires immediate reporting to the appropriate authorities for assessment, the concerned aircraft was returned to operation after the event, leading to a setback for this incident’s investigation as it was also reported to the AIC two days after it occurred.

AIC intends to release the Preliminary report publicly on 26th March, 2023.

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