Pilot error, weather caused fatal crash

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 12:38 23/11/2012

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A Papua New Guinea plane crash which killed a New Zealander and three Australians, while another New Zealander was the sole survivor, was the result of pilot error and bad weather, PNG's Accident Investigations Commission says.

A Cessna Citation jet crashed on August 31, 2010, at the end of the runway on Misima Island and burst into flames.

New Zealand co-pilot Kelby Cheyne, 25, managed to get out but was seriously injured.

Another New Zealander, Alexei Filyaev, 50, was killed. He was also a Russian national and sales sales manager for Medivac company International SOS.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported from Port Moresby that the final crash report found that the runway on the island was flooded in poor weather conditions, which made it hard for the plane to land and affected its brakes.

Commission CEO David Inau said it was the responsibility of the plane's operators, Trans Air, to ensure the airstrip was suitable for their operations.

"If the operator is satisfied that the airstrip is safe, then they can operate in and out of that aerodrome."

He said all airlines operating in the country should report such incidents to the relevant regulatory authorities so improvement could be made to the aerodromes and aircrafts in operation.

Inau says Trans Air did not notify them.

"We has in place legislation that requires...anybody who's working in the aviation industry, if they notice anything that can contribute to an accident, they must report," he said.

"It's incumbent on every operation...to report matters of safety concern."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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