The National, Monday October 28th, 2013
By JEFFREY ELAPA
AN interim report on investigations into the crash of an Air Niugini freight at Madang airport will be available 30 days after the accident, a spokesman says.
Civil Aviation Minister Davis Steven said last Friday the aircraft was leaving Madang for Tabubil at 9.15am on Saturday, Oct 19, with about 3,500kg of cigarettes. The cargo was loaded at Madang.
He said the nosewheel did not lift off the ground during take-off, forcing the aircraft to run off the end of the runway and over a bank.
He said the aircraft continued a further 100 metres and the right wing clipped the airport perimeter fencing. It forced the aircraft to turn about 45 degrees to the right.
Steven said the right wing and engine caught fire.
He said the aircraft came to rest in a small creek with the fuselage in the water and the cockpit mostly submerged.
Three crew members escaped through a hatch in the roof of the cockpit and were helped to safety by locals. He said the aircraft was badly damaged, while most of the fuselage was in the water.
The right outboard wing burnt during the accident. The right engine caught fire and fell off the wing into the water, he said.
Steven said the accident investigation commission team arrived on the same day and tried to identify the cause of the accident.
He said representatives from the manufacturer, ATR, arrived last Wednesday and were assessing damage to the aircraft.
He said the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were recovered in good condition and handed over to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
Steven said British American Tobacco was cooperating with the investigators to verify the weight of the cargo.
Pratt and Whitney engineers are on standby to come to Papua New Guinea to help with the investigations if the preliminary investigation suggests that the engines maybe a contributing factor.