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July 7, 2020
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PNG AIC Releases Preliminary Accident Investigation Report Regarding Accident Involving Lockheed Hercules and Boeing 737

The PNG Accident Investigation Commission’s Chief Commissioner, Mr Hubert Namani, today (June 7) issued a media statement regarding the accident involving a Lockheed Hercules aircraft impacting the winglet of a Boeing 737 at the aircraft parking bays at Jacksons International Airport on 12 May 2018.

Lockheed Hercules L-382 and Boeing 737-800 collide during taxiing at Parking Bay 23 and Bay 22 at Jacksons International Airport

Authroties claim the statement preleminary report contains verified factual information as investigated within the 30 days since the accident.

According to the statement, at 4.15pm on Saturday 12 May, 2018, the Accident Investigation Commission (AIC) was informed that the left wing of a US registered Lockheed Hercules aircraft struck the right winglet of a PNG registered Boeing 737 when the Hercules was turning on the parking bay at Jacksons Airport Freight Ramp.

“Operated by Lynden Air Cargo, the Hercules freighter conducted a charter flight from Komo Airport, Hela Province, to Jacksons International Airport, with flight crew consisting of a pilot in command (PIC), copilot, load master, and two flight engineers.”

The report also states that the Air Niugini Boeing 737 was stationary and unoccupied at the time of the accident.

The Hercules landed on runway 14 Left at 05:10 UTC1 (15:10 local), turned right onto taxiway M and continued taxiing to Bay 23, crossing runway 14 Right and taxiway A. The adjacent bays, Bay 22 and Bay 24 were occupied by a Boeing 737-800, registered P2-PXE, operated by Air Niugini and a Canadian registered Basler BT-67 aircraft2 respectively.

Figure 1: Route Taken by N403LC
Figure 1: Route Taken by N403LC

In accordance with the reporting Standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the report released does not contain analysis of those facts. The report states that marshalling guidance was being provided at Bay 23 by the Hercules operator’s ground personnel.

Marshalling guidance was provided at Bay 23 by the Operator’s ground personnel. At 05:15, as the Hercules PIC was manoeuvring the aircraft slightly to the left to prepare the aircraft to make a right turn and position its aft end to face the airport access gate to the cargo yard, the radius of turn took it past the wing tip of the Boeing 737. The Boeing 737 was stationary and unoccupied on the apron. The leading edge of the left wing of the Hercules impacted the right winglet of the Boeing 737 causing significant damage to both aircraft.

Figure 2: Wings collision damage (Source: Eye witness)
Figure 2: Wings collision damage (Source: Eye witness)

Mr Namani said “the accident occurred at about 3.10 pm at the freight ramp adjacent to the Air Niugini maintenance hangar. The leading edge of the left wing of the Hercules impacted the right winglet of the Boeing 737 causing significant damage to both aircraft”.

AIC Comment

AIC  said the accident occurred at 05:15 and the AIC was notified by the holder of the Air Operator Certificate for the Hercules operation at 06:15. The AIC was not notified by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in accordance with Section 62 of the Civil Aviation Act 2000 (as amended). The investigation is continuing and will include analysis of evidence obtained by investigators at the accident site. Flight recorder data from the Hercules is being analysed in the AIC’s Flight Recorder laboratory in Port Moresby. CCTV footage from the Air Niugini maintenance hangar adjacent to the accident site and witness photographs are also being examined. The aircraft operators are assisting the AIC with the investigation.

Mr Namani said “the weather was fine and clear, and there were no environmental impediments to visibility. He added that “the investigation is continuing and will include analysis of evidence obtained by investigators at the accident site. Flight recorder data from the Hercules is being analysed in the AIC’s Flight Recorder laboratory in Port Moresby. CCTV footage from the Air Niugini maintenance hangar adjacent to the accident site and witness photographs are also being examined. The aircraft operators are assisting the AIC with the investigation”.

A final report will be publicly released by the AIC once all the facts and evidence have been analysed.

Source: PNG Accident Investigation Commission.

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