14 Aug 2009

Plane recovery hampered by weather and terrain

7:26 am on 14 August 2009

Dense jungle terrain and bad weather are making efforts to recover the bodies of 13 people, killed in Papua New Guinea's worst air crash, extremely difficult, with the operation expected to take days.

No one aboard the Airlines PNG Twin Otter charter flight, including nine Australians, survived this week's crash in the steep Owen Stanley ranges.

Only three bodies have been recovered from the crashed aircraft.

PNG's Civil Aviation Authority director Joseph Kintau says a great deal of work is still needed at the site.

Airlines PNG chairman Simon Wild says the recovery efforts will take some time because of the rugged terrain and poor weather conditions.

Mr Wild says it will be sometime before a cause of the accident is known, but he is defending the experience of the crew operating the flight.