Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific
Reload this Page >

Merged: APNG Twin Otter Missing

Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Merged: APNG Twin Otter Missing

Old 13th Aug 2009, 04:08
  #81 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 331

Statements like -

"We know that the aircraft was in cloud when it hit the mountain, or at least until moments before it hit the mountain at which point impact was unavoidable."

"The crew knew the mountain was where it was because they had flown the route many times before."

"This leads to the obvious conclusion that they were not exactly sure where they were in relation to the mountain."

"they must have been entirely reliant on GPS indications to determine where they were and what was around them."

- make me somewhat uneasy!

The press are already in frenzy mode in relation to qualifications and experience levels of the pilot.

I prefer to stand back and wait rather than provide further fodder to the press - Alas there is certainly more than enough in what you have presented to keep several journos happy.
ad-astra is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 04:18
  #82 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: ex Horn Island
Posts: 88
First bodies pulled from Kokoda plane wreck - Yahoo!7 News

Pardon my ignorance, but what is the connection between SkyTrans and APNG?
I spy is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 04:19
  #83 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 26
Same Owner
wotthe is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 06:07
  #84 (permalink)  

Grandpa Aerotart
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SWP
Posts: 4,620
gullibell your statements display a comprehensive lack of knowledge of what flying in mountain valleys entails.

If TAWs was enabled in their G530 the entire screen would be red all the time and the warnings would be going off continuously. When you are flying in PNG mountain valleys in weather you are typically operating at a few 100' agl sometimes lower - crossing ridges/gaps for instance you WILL be briefly at < 50' agl. You would typically have your right wing tip closer than that to the side of the valley to give maximum radius of turn in the event you need to do a 180 and escape back down the way you have come. You may be operating at reduced speed, in a Twotter for example you might be flying along at 80kts/flap 20 at times due terrain/rain/cloud - and even in that config a 180 turn might require 45 degree AoB to NOT hit the ground in the turn - with rain on the windscreen and with no visible horizon because the ground just outside the windscreen is tilted up at all sorts of crazy angles and covered in trees - there will most likely be wispy cloud/mist covering the terrain as well as the overcast less than 50' above you. TAWs/EHGPS is great if operating at/above IAL procedure limiting altitudes but of no use at all in the style of flying this crew was doing.

Too GPS is great when you are flying over flat terrain/above LSALT - but it only gives you straight line dist/track to your destination and in valleys you NEVER fly in straight lines. What use is a track/dist/ETA on a GPS if there is a bloody great mountain that you have to fly around?

I remember flying from Moresby to Nadzab back in about 1991 in my C185. The weather was CRAP - black CBs up to space, rain etc - A fella who had been in PNG 1 day came along for the ride with his new Garmin 100 GPS - first one I had ever seen in fact. He proceeded to suction cap the aerial to the windscreen and attempt to 'help' me find my way through the valleys B050 in areas where the MORAs were 12000' - he turned it off before we were half way and just watched. He subsequently left it switched off for his route/strip training and only bought it out for special occasions - flying around the Gulf Of Papua/Coastal areas where it is flat.

Gullibell et al you will notice that I am making NO COMMENTS on what caused this crash or the crews actions despite being intimately knowledgeable of the aircraft type (2600 hrs on type, in PNG, all single pilot) and the route they were flying.

I suggest you, and anyone else considering comments based on 100% ignorance of the facts, ponder that.

Here is a picture of someone making an approach in a Twotter to Tumolbil in the western highlands (hundred of miles from Efogi but very similar) in nice weather.

WTF use is TAWs/GPS?

Crossing a ridge (not me) - note difference between altitude and height agl.

This is actually me climbing out of Kokoda in light rain - note the wispy cloud in the trees on the ridge line behind/below me - we are at about 3000' in an area where the MORA is 14000' - probably < 10nm from the crash site but as I said before the Kokoda valley is large - where they have crashed is a better described as a gorge. We were tracking out via the Wairopi to the coastal plains on climb LSALT to track back to Moresby as I described a few pages back.

Last edited by Chimbu chuckles; 13th Aug 2009 at 08:20.
Chimbu chuckles is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 06:22
  #85 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 80
The conection between skytrans and APNG is the wild family. Simon Wild is the Chairman of the APNG Board(largest shareholder but not owner it is now a public company) and the owner of Skytrans. Before anyone tries to pin this on the lack of regulation, everyone needs to remember that APNG is the only airline in PNG that is regulated by PNG caa and CASA. It has the same hoops to jump through that qantas, virgin and for that matter skytrans does.
Also I agree with the post about the ADF being up there I think that it is a crazy move in that environment. It should be left to those who know the region, surely some of the mine guys whould be better trained at such things.
cnic is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 06:53
  #86 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Auz
Posts: 4
I have said it before but for Obie I'll say it again - given a choice between a 1,000 hour pilot who gained his time in Australia and a 1,000 hour pilot with all his time in PNG, I'll take my PNG friend everytime thanks. You can't buy that experience anywhere else and it is pure gold.

I'm a crusty old engineer and we just hate to stroke pilots, but this needs to be said. These were professional pilots doing what they were trained for in the most beautiful and yet deadly environment I have ever had the fortune to work in. The pilots of PNG are defintely no cowboys and deserve our respect for what they routinely do day in and day out - I know they have mine.

Let's just wait and see what the investigation finds hey?

Off my sopbox now.

Lukim TT
Telefomen Trousers is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 07:46
  #87 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: 3rd Rock
Posts: 2
John Wild is the founder and half owner of APNG. His children own Skytrans. Connection is solely exec-level management.
baloose is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 07:57
  #88 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Kerikeri, New Zealand or Noosa Queensland. Depending on the time of year!
Age: 79
Posts: 274
I have read with interest some of the comments posted regarding the demands of flying in Papua and New Guinea and having first hand experience with the conditions there, agree with most.

My own experience started in 1962 arriving POM at 0630 off the TAA DC-6 night flight from Sydney, only to be met by my then new employer who announced that he was off to Kokoda and that I should come along for a “Look see”.

That flight amounted to my route total endorsement over the Owen Stanley’s!

It was apparent that in order to survive one had to quickly learn the rules of flying in that demanding environment, and over the next eighteen months I managed to learn enough to survive logging 1200 hours flying somewhat aged Cessna 180s and 185s throughout the country.

The most important rule learned was that no matter the weather and the route flown you ALWAYS kept a back door open – a means of escape or alternate plan for that time when the chips were down and things went against you.

Some years later I returned and logged another 1000 hours flying a Twin Otter for TAA over the same routes. A much more suitable aircraft having the reliability of turbine engines, more power and IFR capability.


Any pilot that ignored this basic rule was flirting with the risk of finding him/herself flying into “Cumulo Granitus”.

We will probably never know exactly what happened in this case but one thing is for certain, that at some point the crew of this flight ran out of safe alternatives. It is a sad but true fact that New Guinea aviation has claimed many lives over the years and will probably continue to do so - it is the nature of the beast.

Exaviator is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 08:50
  #89 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Wanaka, NZ
Posts: 2,152
Points noted. My original post edited thus [] in response.
gulliBell is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 08:52
  #90 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: PNG
Age: 73
Posts: 23

I took particular note of your thread on this latest tradgedy.

I am stuck in Montreal on another matter (bandit ENB) and cannot get back to PNG to head this investigatio.

I must admit I initiaolly took some offence at one of your comments but I only hope that the PNG departments now realise that the way the Australian government has intervened ( assisted) is the only way you can conduct this type of work. God knows we have been trying to change things in this regard for years but to no avail.

Can I respectfully suggest that the acft accident investigations are done to the same standard as the funding, facilities, manpower, equipment and departmental backup that is provided by the PNG government !!!!!!!!!!!

Come and sped a month or two with me and you will soon find out what really goes on in the background immediately after an aircraft accident occurrs. Take for EG the last bandit accident, it has taken us 2 years 3 months and 3 weeks to the day to get the money to retrieve the engines for inspection at P and W canada. Thats why we are here and or in PNG attending to the latest accident.

Please dont be critical of something you have no knowledge of especially when i am a one man band trying to operate in incredibly trying circumstances . And by the way most times, the job only gets done because my engineer and I pay for it out of our own pockets.
sid Otoole is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 08:57
  #91 (permalink)  
Silly Old Git
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: saiba spes
Posts: 3,727
I found keeping at least TWO back doors open worked for me
When this sort of thing happens at this level of the game, it makes you wonder, and wonder again how lucky you where.
tinpis is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 09:02
  #92 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 399
NZ-trained pilot captained doomed PNG plane

6:55PM Thursday Aug 13, 2009

The plane was transporting tourists to the Kokoda Track (pictured), a trail linking the southern and northern coasts of Papua New Guinea. Photo / Wikimedia Commons image by Luke Brindley

Related links:PORT MORESBY - The cause of a charter plane crash near Kokoda that killed 13 people including nine Australians won't be known for some time, according to the head of Airlines Papua New Guinea.
Airlines PNG chairman Simon Wild defended the experience of the crew operating the flight.
Captain Jannie Moala had completed her pilot training in New Zealand, before her flying career in PNG and commenced flying Twin Otter aircraft with Airlines PNG in 2005.
She had nearly five years' experience on that aircraft type involving some 2500 hours flying, and Ms Moala had flown the Port Moresby to Kokoda route on numerous occasions.
"We will not know the exact cause for some time and have launched a full investigation and will work with authorities to establish the cause of the accident," Mr Wild said.
He said Airlines PNG pilots are some of the most experienced in the world in flying this type of aircraft and in this type of environment.
The Daily Telegraph in Sydney said he revealed an audio recording contained the last voice transmissions from Ms Moala, and thet the pilots told air traffic controllers "they had decided to climb" moments before their plane smashed into a mountain.

Ms Moala was said to have radioed that the Airlines PNG Twin Otter turboprop was descending on to the Kokoda airstrip.
But a few minutes later, Ms Moala, calmly radioed that "they had decided to climb and that they were climbing".
Within moments the plane had hit a mountain just five minutes from the airfield.
Airlines PNG was founded in 1987 as charter company Milne Bay Airlines by a plantation owner and has grown into a significant domestic carrier.
It was reported to have had a significant crash record under its first name, but gained its airline licence in 1997.
Since being renamed and re-organised its only fatal crashes have been two pilots operating an air freight flight in 2004, and the 13 people this week.
The airline hired former Air New Zealand/Ansett chief executive Gary Toomey in June to drive its expansion plans.
"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the passengers and of course our crew's relatives," Mr Wild said.
First Officer Royden Sauka completed his pilot training in Australia, and also started flying Twin Otter aircraft in 2005 with Airlines PNG.
He too had in excess of 2000 hours experience flying that same aircraft type.
Mr Sauka was also considered a very capable pilot and was also very familiar with the Port Moresby to Kokoda route, the airline said.
"We will be doing whatever we can to support the families during this very trying time while the recovery efforts continue," Mr Wild said.
slamer. is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 09:40
  #93 (permalink)  

Retired Tiger pilot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Club Morocco. Subic Bay. Philippines
Posts: 460
Wothe #73

Not really correct I believe but if Chuck remembers, the aircraft was on short finals to a one-way strip with no go-around facilities, when a group of villagers arrived in the middle of the landing area. What do you do? land and possibly injure or kill a number of the villagers, or try an overshoot.

I have never flown a Nomad but believe that with full flap set, if full power applied, the flaps retract to take-off position (or near to) with the stalling speed increased dramtically. At this point in time, I believe that the pilot had no alternative to try and steer the aircraft to the lower terrain off the side of the airstrip. Sadly with the wing stalled, he did not get away with it.

I believe that an accident report was published and may still be available if you seek it.
Sharpie is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 09:54
  #94 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: melb
Posts: 58
YouTube - PNG Landing - Fane

Watch the take off at the end and imagine dropping then climbing into that mountain. Wont get closer to the actual event than this footage.
mickk is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 10:49
  #95 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 743
Didn't ANG loose a F28 a few years ago after a heavy landing?
Dog One is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 11:02
  #96 (permalink)  

Grandpa Aerotart
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SWP
Posts: 4,620
Nope they lost one F28 off the end of Madang into the harbor because the runway hadn't been scraped in living memory and it had rained hard just before their night arrival. Pooling water/rubber reversion aquaplaning etc.

They lost two more when main gear legs snapped off on landing due less than great maintenance. Not heavy landings.

One at Goroka due to the oleo not having enough fluid (but plenty of nitrogen) causing the oleo to over compress and the torque links snapped - the brake lines proved not up to keeping the wheels straight and the gear departed the airframe. One at Nadzab due corrosion/fatigue cracking that was behind a Data plate.

No injuries. And these incidents were over a decade ago when I was still on the fleet...even flying a jet in PNG has its exciting moments

Edited to change inspection plate to data plate.

Last edited by Chimbu chuckles; 13th Aug 2009 at 12:10.
Chimbu chuckles is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 11:10
  #97 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 743
Thanks Chuck for the info. Having never flown a Twotter, but watching the U-Tube excerpt, when did you get single engine capability after take off?
Dog One is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 11:15
  #98 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Wanaka, NZ
Posts: 2,152
CC, no disrespect intended, I just have a difference of opinion on some aspects. Doesn't neccessarily mean you're wrong, or I'm wrong, or either of us is wrong for that matter. Certainly appreciative of what you and others have to say about all this. That's why we're all here participating. I'm certainly not bashing the crew for anything they did or didn't do, so don't misunderstand me here.

If I was unfortunate enough to be caught out in cloud in a mountain valley and I had TAWS, and an appreciation of the best escape option came to this conclusion, I would go straight up the guts of the valley according to the TAWS display in a best angle of climb configuration. Aim being of course to keep as far away as possible from terrain that you could fly in to, then keep working at getting on an airway and following a procedure to get visual. This is hypothetical however, it hasn't happened to me, I don't know how it would work in practice. I'm just contemplating this question on reflection of the accident.

I just don't accept at this point that the TAWS will be all red and thus be of no real assistance, that's just not what I see on the TAWS display on the GNS530 when I'm flying in the PNG mountains, valleys included. You have a different opinion about this, fine. Sure, you get plenty of strange TAWS warnings, they can be annoying, but on the GNS530 the graphical display is good at giving you an appreciation of the surrounding terrain. Certainly a much better predictive appreciation of the terrain than not having it.

Your point about keeping a wing tip tight against the valley side is of course valid, to give you the best option of turning around, and the rest of it, but that only applies if you have and can maintain visual reference to the ground. We're talking here about, what do you do once having lost visual reference? That appears to be what happened here. The APNG flight could not land at Kokoda due to the weather (otherwise they would have landed), and they probably remained in the weather until the point of impact (otherwise they wouldn't have flown into the mountain).

As I said I don't know what the TAWS was indicating prior to the impact, there are too many unknown variables at play. For all I know it might not have given them any warning, and it might have been telling them they were somewhere other than where they were. What can't be argued is, if they had no visual reference, the only device they had for determining their position was the GPS. So obviously TAWS and the GPS will be an important aspect of the investigation, and if the data can be extracted from the unit then it could go along way towards explaining what happened.

And that's what people want to know, what happened.
gulliBell is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 11:17
  #99 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: The Dark Side
Posts: 464
Rather arrogant post old mate. Shows a distinct lack of knowledge about the subject of military aviation. Check my profile - I have no axe to grind and, yes I have flown in PNG.
In over thirty years of mil operations in PNG I can think of only one fatal but a number of civvy fatals come to mind.
eagle 86 is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2009, 11:18
  #100 (permalink)  

Grandpa Aerotart
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SWP
Posts: 4,620
We didn't, in a 200 series Twotter, unless there was a valley to follow to lower terrain/the coast...300 series was better. In IMC at LSALT you always had a drift down plan in the back of your mind in case one quite.

The DHC6 is the single greatest bush plan ever designed.
Chimbu chuckles is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.