The National, Thursday October 17th, 2013
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
CIVIL Aviation Minister Steven Davis has confirmed the long-awaited Airlines PNG Madang crash report will be released to the public after it is endorsement before Cabinet in its next sitting.
Davis said the report was “about 80% complete” and the preliminary findings had raised technical questions that had the attention of the aircraft manufacturers and the aviation sector worldwide. “Legal issues arising as a result of the crash are yet to be included for the report to be completed,” Davis said.
“The next parliament sitting on Nov 8-9 is where I intend to make the findings public after Cabinet’s approval for release.”
Davis said part of the problem in the delay was the lack of financial backing by the government to the cash-strapped Accident Investigation Commission (AIC) headed by former Eye in the Sky director and army pilot David Inau.
But he assured the affected 28 families would know the cause of the crash by next month.
FM100 Talkback host and former navy colonel Reginald Renagi, who lost his wife in the crash, said yesterday he was unimpressed with the way the families had been shunned.
“I am very disappointed with investigations by the AIC and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Can the government through AIC tell the families why the investigation is taking so long? We want to find out what caused the crash,” he said.
A nine-page preliminary report found on the CASA website has been described by Renagi as ‘inconclusive’. “It does not say whether it was mechanical or pilot error,” he said. The Bombardier Dash 8-102 aircraft crashed on Oct 13, 2011, at Marakum village, Rai Coast, killing all on board except the pilot, co-pilot, a male crew member and a Chinese.
A monument has been erected at the crash site by Airlines PNG, with another at the Divine Word University in memory of those who lost their lives while on their way to Madang.