Air Niugini Chuuk crash report released

Boaters on Weno island in Chuuk, in the Federated States of Micronesia respond to the crash of Air Niugini Flight 73 earlier this morning in Chuuk. All 46 people aboard are safe, said airport Manager Jimmy Emilio. Picture: Courtesy of Bill Davis through PACNEWS

PORT MORESBY, 29 OCTOBER 2018 (POST COURIER)— A preliminary report on the incident involving Air Niugini Boeing 373-800 at Chuuk Airport in the Federated State of Micronesia last month was released last Friday.

 

The report that was uploaded on Accident Investigation Website only shows factual information of what transpired during the time of the incident.

 

According to the report, conclusions and analysis and recommendations on the investigation will be provided in the final report as the investigation is still ongoing.

 

In the preliminary report, the Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure has classified the occurrence as an accident.

 

According to report on the history of the flight, the plane was scheduled to fly passengers from Pohnpei to Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia.

 

At 23.45 UTC1 (09.45 local time) the aircraft impacted the water of Chuuk Lagoon about 1500 ft (460m) short of the runway 04 threshold, during its approach to runway 04 at Chuuk International Airport.

 

As the aircraft settled in the water, it turned clockwise through 210 degrees and drifted 460 ft (140 m) south east of the runway (04) extended centerline, with the nose of the aircraft pointing about 265 deg.

 

There were 12 crew members and 35 passengers on board. Six passengers were seriously injured and one passenger was fatally injured.

 

The 12 crew members and 34 passengers exited the aircraft and were promptly rescued and brought to shore by US Navy divers (who were the first on the scene), Chuuk State government boats, Red Cross, Transco, and more than 20 privately-owned boats.

Local divers locate the fatally injured passenger in the aircraft three days after the accident.

The aircraft was damaged by impact forces with no other damage reported.

The aircraft is owned by Loftlieder / Icelander. The aircraft manufacturer is Boeing Company and the aircraft was manufactured in April 19, 2005 and registered in PNG and operated by Air Niugini Limited.

The pilot in command at that time was a 52-year-old Papua New Guinean who has been in command of the plane almost four months, with copilot, a 35 year old Australian being as copilot in Boeing for two weeks.

The investigation is reviewing the ground-based navigation aids, on-board navigation aids, and aerodrome visual ground aids and their serviceability at the time of the accident.

All communications between air traffic services (ATS) and the aircraft were normal.

The aircraft was fitted with a solid-state cockpit voice recorder and a separate solid-state flight data recorder. The SSCVR (P/N: 980-6022-001 & S/N:04448) and SSFDR (P/N: 980-4700-043 & S/N: 17869) were manufactured by Honeywell Aerospace. The CVR was installed at the rear fuselage of the aircraft. The SSFDR was installed in the ceiling at the rear of the passenger cabin.

An examination of the data showed that the SSFDR data and the SSCVR audio from the accident flight had been successfully recorded. The data was good quality.

Other electronics components of the aircraft were recovered by the local divers.

The initial examination of video taken by the divers showed that the main landing gear separated from the aircraft during the water impact. The rear fuselage behind the wing had fractured during the impact sequence.

The aircraft sank in 90 ft of water to the Chuuk Lagoon seabed.

A post mortem was conducted on the deceased passenger by the FSM State Pathologist, and at the request of the FSM Investigator-in-Charge, a confirmation Post Mortem was conducted by the PNG State Pathologist in Chuuk.

The Pathologists’ report will be examined by the investigation.

The areas of organizational and management information which may have directly or indirectly influenced the operation of the aircraft is the subject of the ongoing investigation. The organizational

On October 23, 2018, Air Niugini Limited informed the investigation of the following Safety Actions taken and proposed following the accident and stated:

Chuuk (TKK) and Pohnpei (PNI) Airport categories have been changed from CAT B to CAT X (CAT X being more restrictive) operations by Air Niugini Limited.

Other similar airports in the Air Niugini Boeing network are being reviewed and may be re-categorized accordingly.

Additional training and qualifications required for Category X training requirements for Flight Crew to be initiated.

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