Compo for crash victims

National, Normal

NICK Leahy, son of the Australian pilot who survived a fatal crash in PNG last month, has reached an agreement to pay compensation to the victim’s families.
He said on Sunday that he was not expecting any more calls for his father, Richard Leahy, to be charged with manslaughter over the Dec 30 crash, which the PNG Accident Investigation Commission is investigating.
After three meetings with the victim’s families, Mr Leahy reached an agreement last Friday for financial assistance to be paid to the families by his father’s company, Kiunga Aviation Ltd.
He also said the Police Commissioner had asked the Coroner to release the victims’ bodies for burial this week.
Last week, the governor of the province in which the crash occurred, Luther Wenge, made an emotional call for Richard Leahy to be charged with manslaughter and then banned from returning to PNG.
Mr Wenge’s relatives were among the victims of the crash.
Nick Leahy said on Sunday he had been assured by Mr Wenge’s brother, Kennedy Wenge, last Thursday that other family members did not share the governor’s views.
Six people, including two children, died when Richard Leahy’s Cessna crashed near Baindoang in Papua New Guinea’s northeast, last Dec 30.
Mr Leahy, an experienced pilot who has spent over 40 years flying in the country, was the only survivor.
He remains heavily sedated in a serious condition in a Brisbane hospital.
He had issued a distress call before the crash reporting a failed engine. – Sydney Morning Herald