30 Jul 2010

PNG crash investigator unsure if safety recommendations will be followed

6:38 am on 30 July 2010

Uncertainty surrounds the investigation into a passenger flight on August 11 last year which crashed in Papua New Guinea's Owen Stanley ranges, killing 13 people.

PNG's senior air accident investigator, Sid O'Toole, is unsure whether he'll be able to complete his report into the Airlines PNG plane crash.

The Transport Department has not renewed Mr O'Toole's contract after it expired on July 11.

He says a meeting of the Accident Investigation Commission next week may determine his future role in the probe, but Mr O'Toole says Transport heads are refusing to extend his contract.

Mr O'Toole has made some preliminary recommendations which have been approved by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority but doesn't know if government will act on them.

"Now some six weeks or so ago, I put in the recommendations via the Department of Transport and I've even prepared a brief for the Minister but that has not been made public."

PNG's air accident investigator Sid O'Toole