17 Oct 2011

Crash airline boss defends safety record

3:09 pm on 17 October 2011

The chairman of Airlines PNG chairman has defended the airline's safety record following the crash of one of its planes in Papua New Guinea.

Twenty-eight passengers were killed, but one survived along with three crew members, including 30-year-old co-pilot Campbell Wagstaff from New Zealand.

The Dash-8 plane crashed as it attempted an emergency landing at Madang Airport last Thursday.

Airlines PNG chairman Simon Wild says a team from the aircraft's Canadian manufacturer is at the airport on Monday and until the cause of the crash is known the airline's fleet of Dash-8 planes are grounded.

Mr Wild says the Dash-8 pilots average more than 16,000 hours of flight time, including 15 years' experience in the challenging Papua New Guinea environment.