PNGAIC sets record straight on Twin Otter crash report

The Papua New Guinea Accident Investigation Commission (PNGAIC) has come out publicly to set the record straight after reports emerged from The National newspaper regarding the Twin Otter crash on September 20, 2014.

In a letter dated October 22, 2014, to the editor of The National, Ms Christine Pakakota, PNGAIC’s acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), David Inau, said the paper’s report titled “Mt Lawes crash report out” was “highly misleading” and “contained several gross errors”.

Inau said the paragraph which stated that the “preliminary report into the accident involving HeviLift’s Twin Otter that crashed on September 20 at Mt Lawes suggested miss-communication between the pilot and tower controller” was “completely incorrect” and the report only contained factual information and does not suggest anything.

He further added that another paragraph stating that the pilot in command had requested tower control if they could pick up the Instrument Landing System was also incorrect and that did not happen.

Mr Inau also said that another paragraph which states that “the tower controller replied positively for the plane to land…” was never stated in the report.

The PNGAIC CEO said apart from the incorrect information, the article implies that the tower controller’s radio communication may have been an underlying fact in the crash – something that was never mentioned in the preliminary report.

Inau said the article was a serious misrepresentation of the commission’s preliminary report and that the public deserves to be properly informed.

The PNGAIC has also requested the newspaper to publish a withdrawal of the article.

The Twin Otter operated by HeviLift crashed around 9:30am on September 20, 2014 near the top of Mt Lawes, 12 kilometers east north east from Jackson's Airport. The plane was on chartered trip to Woitape to Port Moresby.

Four of the nine passengers including the pilot and co-pilot did not survive the crash.

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