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August 13, 2020
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Preliminary Report Released for Morobe Airline Crash

The Preliminary Report into the fatal aircraft accident between the Yalumet and Saidor Gap in Morobe Province was released today by the Accident Investigation Commission.

According to AIC Investigators, the North Coast Aviation Aircraft had impacted a ridge at over 2,800 metres on the ridge that which runs down towards the Sapmanga Valley from the Sarawaged Ranges in Morobe Province.

The Pilot elected to track across the Sarawaged ranges from Derim to Nadzab Airport, but the aircraft was on a shallow descent towards the ridges at that time.

AIC investigators arrived at the scene of the accident on the 6th of January, 2018, assisted by two aircraft engineers from North Coast Aviation. Part of the delay was to have the Search-and-Rescue team complete their task before AIC conducted its investigations. Adverse weather over the Sarawaged ranges at the time of the flight and the days that followed saw low clouds and periods of rain, which hampered the investigations.

” We have preliminary findings,” said Stray.

During the search of the aircraft, what had appeared to be the right aileron was found hanging from a tree near the top of the heavily-timbered, densely-vegetated ridge. The remainder of the wreckage was found about 150m from the aileron, along the projected area.

” It is hoped that the investigation finishes on a timely basis,” said String.

Stray said investigations are continuing, and will include an analysis of the evidence obtained at the accident site, and data and documents relating to the weather, communications, search and rescue and flight operations record.

Chief Commissioner Mr. Namani said AIC’s investigations would have been very difficult, given the unpredictable weather and the difficult environment, but the recently acquired drone to survey the accident site had enabled AIC investigators to carry out investigations smoothly.

Photo courtesy of Papua New Guinea Accident Investigation Commission

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