16 Jun 2014

Report blames pilots for major PNG air crash

6:45 pm on 16 June 2014

A report by Papua New Guinea's Accident Investigation Commission has found that pilot error was responsible for a plane crash in 2011 that killed 28 people.

The Airlines PNG plane crashed as it attempted an emergency landing alongside a river about 30 kilometres south of Madang.

Four people survived, including the two pilots.

Jamie Tahana reports.

"The AIC says the plane had to be flown manually because the aircraft's yaw damper was unserviceable. It says that as the pilots conducted a low-power, steep descent to get below cloud on the approach to Madang, neither of them noticed that its speed had increased to its maximum operating speed. The investigation found that the pilot-in-command quickly pulled the power levels of the plane and moments later both propellors over-sped, triggering a series of events that caused severe damage to the engine. The report says various alerts were activated and smoke started to appear in the cockpit, but the crew failed to respond by implementing the procedures detailed in the company manuals or the quick reference handbook."