CASA grounds aircraft

The National, Wednesday July 13th, 2016

The PNG Civil Aviation Safety Authority has grounded an American-registered aircraft that was damaged when landing at a remote airstrip in West Sepik last month.
Transport Department first assistant secretary, Air Transport Division, William Vate said the aircraft owned by Wings of Hope had damages to its tail and rudder.
An American Federal Aviation administration registered pilot landed on the steep airstrip of Tumolbil about 2km from the PNG-Indonesian border on June 24.
“The aircraft is a US-registered aircraft brought into the country as a private aircraft for medical evacuations and the transportation of medicines to rural areas in West Sepik. It is based in Bewani,” Vate said.
The department approved an import permit on the condition that the owner Gary Lewis went through the certification process with the PNG authority to have the aircraft registered in PNG within six months from the date of initial entry – Sept 15 last year.
Prior to the accident, however, Lewis asked for a year’s extension to utilise the aircraft under the US registration.
Earlier, PNG Air Investigation Commission chief executive officer Captain David Inau said the pilot was not experienced to fly into Tumolbil airstrip as it was a difficult landing spot.