Second aircraft accident at remote airstrip, no casualties

The aircraft involved in the first accident (left, P2-BWE) last week Tuesday. The one on the right (P2-BWC) was involved in yesterday’s incident at Telefomin’s Tekin airstrip in West Sepik. – Picture courtesy of the AIC

A SMALL aircraft carrying five people including the pilot was involved in an accident on a remote airstrip in West Sepik yesterday, according to the PNG Accident Investigation Commission (AIC).
It was the second incident in just over a week involving the same operator at the Tekin airstrip in Telefomin.
Nine days ago, a chartered aircraft flying into Tekin from Kiunga, Western with eight persons on board, went off the airstrip runway.
According to the AIC, there were no casualties in both incidents.
AIC chief commissioner Hubert Namani said the commission yesterday began an investigation into the accident involving a PAC 750 aircraft at Tekin.
He said the AIC was notified at 10.13am yesterday by the Niugini Aviation Service Ltd (NASL) about a landing accident, involving another one of their PAC 750 aircraft, registered P2-BWC.
“It is a major safety concern for travellers and the Tekin community due to the fact that there have been two accidents in a space of nine days at Tekin, (involving) the same operator,” Namani said.
He said the airstrip had been declared closed to allow an on-site investigation to be conducted.
The Sandaun government is expected to engage the Rural Airstrips Agency to reassess the safety of the airstrip before normal operations can resume.
“Due to safety concerns at Tekin, the AIC has recommended to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to prohibit operators from conducting fixed wing (aeroplane) operations into Tekin until the airstrip is deemed safe for such operations,” he said.
“The AIC will conduct a full investigation into the second NASL PAC750 accident. The sole purpose is the improvement of aviation safety and not to apportion blame or liability.”
A preliminary report is expected to be released within 30 days after each accident.