Arava crash was due to structural failure

Letters, Normal

A LETTER by “Concerned taxpayer” which appeared in the Post-Courier (Oct 15) and Sunday Chronicle (Oct 18) attempted to damage the reputation of the organisation that I have loyally served for the last 22 years, the Air Wing of the PNGDF.
From the content of the letter, the writer is or was a senior officer of the same organisation and knows there are channels within our organisation to address serious issues that is bothering the writer.
I do not have the mandate to respond on behalf of the PNGDF hierarchy, however, since the writer chooses to mention my name, I can only defend my name using the same forum.
The nose wheel assembly disassociating from the rest of the aircraft to me was a structural failure, and this was encountered after a successful landing when slowing down to taxi and not whilst landing as the writer claimed, misleading readers of the other two papers in a pathetic attempt to discredit me.
Tyre skid marks on the runway will prove this. Other airlines operating into Menyamya has confirmed my story to the PNGDF hierarchy.
Our mission for that eventful day was to deliver PNGDF medic and supplies to combat the cholera outbreak in Menyamya.
This accident happened in everyone’s view, and they correctly confirmed my story as reported.
The writer failed to inform readers that the Arava has been out of production for more than 20 years.
In an attempt to meet our Government’s requirements, we keep cannibalising parts from other aircraft to keep a serviceable airframe floating at the risk of the aircrew.
How long can we allow this trend to continue?
The writer should be fully aware of this fact.
The writer failed to appreciate that not a single life was lost that day and that can be attributed to the crew’s handling of the situation.
A majority of my colleagues has left the Air Wing for better paid job outside the PNGDF.
A handful of us continue to serve this nation.
Contrary to what the writer claimed, I have supplied my statement to a preliminary investigation officer of the PNGDF.
I will allow the investigation’s findings to be my judge and not some frustrated washed-up former Air Wing officer using a pen name to vent his frustration against the system that the writer was once part of and failed to implement changes so the Air Wing would not be in this current dilemma.


Major Albert Tagua, DMS
Air Wing PNGDF