Sep 21

3 killed and 6 injured in Papua New Guinea when plane crashed into mountain

  • The aircraft came down about 10km from Goldie, near Port Moresby
  • The Hevilift twin otter aircraft was carrying nine people  
  • The two pilots, one Australian man and a woman believed to be from PNG, died alongside one other passenger
  • A spokeswoman for Hevilift said the Australian was a ‘very experienced pilot’
  • Six people survived and one is in a critical condition, all have been taken to hospital in Port Moresby
  • It is believed the plane was chartered by Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Parish in Woitape with parishioners and a pastor on board 
  • Emergency services and crash investigators are on site trying to determine the cause of the crash
  • Sources say the plane crashed into a hillside into a ‘difficult to access area’

By
Melissa Hills
and Sally Lee for Daily Mail Australia
and Aap

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An Australian pilot has died, along with his co-pilot and a passenger, when he flew into a mountainside in Papua New Guinea after reducing altitude in poor visibility, it has been reported.

Six other people survived the crash on Saturday, although one is in a critical condition.

The Hevilift twin otter aircraft came down about 10km from Goldie, near the capital Port Moresby. Officials from the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby said they have ‘grave concerns’ for a man following the crash.

It is believed the plane was chartered by a Catholic parish in Woitape, with parishioners on board and a pastor among the injured. 

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A Hevilift twin otter aircraft similar to the one that crashed 

A Hevilift twin otter aircraft similar to the one that crashed 

A Hevilift spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia that the company ‘swiftly commenced rescue operations and can confirm there are six survivors, one in critical condition’.

The passengers are being treated at Port Moresby General Hospital. 

The spokeswoman added: ‘Three tragically lost their lives. 

‘The company will be conducting a thorough investigation and is cooperating with all relevant authorities to determine the cause.

‘The chartered flight was headed from Woitape to Port Moresby on Saturday morning. 

‘Hevilift’s thoughts and sympathy go to the families of those who have died in the crash and the company will continue to provide every assistance to the survivors.’

The spokeswoman said the Australian killed in the crash ‘was a very experienced pilot’.

Efforts to recover the wreckage of the downed plane has been suspended due to heavy fog and rain on the crash site.

Plans to airlift the bodies of those killed were also abandoned and are instead being transported to Port Moresby by road, PNG Loop reports. 

The flight had been travelling to Port Moresby from Goilala district

The flight had been travelling to Port Moresby from Goilala district

The chief executive of PNG’s Accident Investigation Commission, David Inau, said the cause of the crash was unknown, reports ABC

The flight had been travelling to Port Moresby from Goilala district. 

He said: ‘It’s too early to say until [investigators] come back from the accident site,” he said.

Emergency services and accident investigators are on site trying to find out what happened. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said officials from the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby are urgently seeking information from local authorities regarding the crash.

‘The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian man who died in a light plane crash in Papua New Guinea,’ the spokeswoman added.

Police spokesman David Terry told media ‘details are very sketchy at the moment’ of the crash. 

PNG missionary Matt Allen tweeted: ‘Pray for my friends. “BREAKING: a Hevilift Twin Otter carrying up to 8 passengers has crashed 30miles from Port Morseby.’

A Catholic reporter in PNG tweeted: ‘Downed plane chartered by Our Lady of Fatima Catholic parish of Woitape, Goi. Parishioners on board. Pastor Fr John Aihi among injured.’

Further tweets include: ‘the pilot lowered plane due to poor visibility; immediately hit trees, terrain’.

‘Survivor of Sept 20 crash: too late for pilot to regain altitude; front of aircraft smahed [sic] on the hill side and broke in the middle,’ the Catholic reporter also tweeted. 

It is thought some of the people on the plane were missionaries 

It is thought some of the people on the plane were missionaries 

A reporter from PNG tweeted that the plane was charted by Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Parish

A reporter from PNG tweeted that the plane was charted by Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Parish

Since 2000 more than 20 planes have crashed in Papua New Guinea- the lack of infrastructure makes air travel crucial to the six million residents. 

ABC reports that in July 2012, a chopper also operated by charter company Hevilift, crashed while flying from a drill rig site to Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands, killing two Australians and a New Zealander.

In one of the worst accidents, an Airlines PNG Dash-8 crashed 20 kilometres south of Madang in October 2011, killing 28 of the 32 people on board.

In June this year, the Accident Investigation Commission found that pilot error was a contributing factor in that accident.

 

 

Sep 21

Coroner identifies Monroe County plane crash victims

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Sep 21

Two dead in Southeast Ohio plane crash – WKYC

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP — Two men died Saturday morning in a fiery plane crash that woke a sleepy, normally serene neighborhood in Liberty Township.

The crash was first reported at about 8:55 a.m. Saturday near Sunrise View Circle. A two-seat aerobatic biplane clipped a home and slid sideways into a backyard in one of the single-family homes part of the Summerlin community.

“It scared me out of bed. I thought a truck drove into my house. That’s what I thought the noise was,” said Debbie Valentino, a neighbor who lives two houses from the crash site. “But then I looked out back and saw a big ball of fire and hopped over the fence. My neighbor was already on the phone with the police. I just stood out there, watched and waited for the police and fire department to come.”

The plane was fully engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived on scene, said Butler County Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer. The men were already dead inside.

The identities of the victims have not been released. Officials believe the plane was housed at the Butler County Regional Airport and took off from there. It isn’t immediately clear where the plane was headed.

Officials from the airport did not immediately return requests for comment.

Authorities do not yet know what caused the crash, Dwyer said. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified and will soon take over the investigation.##BR##

A woman and her children, who were at home when the crash happened, were not hurt.

Neighbor Kevin Romer said he heard engine revving up but then saw the plane teetering and eventually it plummeted to the ground. Flames from the burning airplane melted siding on one of the houses.

Valentino recognized that the family, and everyone else in the neighborhood, was lucky.

“I was very shaken up because the plane landed in the backyard. I can’t believe how he avoided it,” she said. “There are young children in all these houses.”

Hours after the fire was extinguished, a crowd remained gathered near the crash site, watching as investigators worked. Other neighbors went about their Saturday morning activities, homeowners mowing lawns while children played outside.

Kevin Romer, who lives about a block from the plane crash scene, said he was working in his garden when the plane came down.

“I heard a plane engine rev up. I turned to look and saw a plane teetering like he was trying to level off, then it fell out of the sky,” he said. “A few seconds later I heard the crash.”

Officials from the Liberty Township Fire Department and Butler County Sheriff’s Office remain on scene.

Two small plane crashes have been reported in the Tri-State area this year, but neither were fatal. Both were caused by engine failures.

The first occurred in Clermont County in April, when a single-engine plane closed the 17th hole at the Stillmeadow Country Club after it made a crash landing and came to rest on the green. Neither the pilot nor his passenger were injured in that incident.

Last month, a 72-year-old Tate Township man crash-landed an airplane on his own property. He sustained serious injuries, but is expected to make a full recovery.

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