Air Services aims to improve communication

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THE PNG Air Services has started a programme to enable clear and uninterrupted high frequency communications in the Port Moresby flight information region.
This was recommended by the Accident Investigation Commission on the completion of an investigation into the accident involving a Sunbird Aviation aircraft which crashed 1.2km west of Kiunga Airport in April last year.
According to the findings of the investigation released by commission yesterday, all of the high frequency radio transmissions between the Air Traffic Service and the aircraft were affected by static interference, making reception difficult, and transmission unclear and unreadable. Commission chief executive officer David Inau, pictured, said the investigation had found that the right-wing fuel tank was empty and the right engine failed, resulting in the crash.
“We also noted during the investigations that one of the fuel selectors from the right engine was (connected) to the left engine,” he said.
“So we concluded that the pilot was using the left tank to cross-feed fuel to the right tank.”
Another contributing factor to the crash was that the aircraft had exceeded the weight it was carrying and the load balance.
“While the aircraft was within the weight limitations, the load distribution placed it in a significantly aft centre of the gravity situation for taking off and landing,” Inau said.
Civil Aviation Safety Authority chief operating officer Captain Tom Waqa said as the aviation regulator, it would review the recommendations and put in place a system where they can implement improvements highlighted.
“There’s a certain amount of oversight done through the systems, processes and procedures, and through their own internal system,” he said.

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