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

PNG crash

Old 29th Dec 2017, 12:33
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mudpig View Post
No wrong. I can assure you they certainly were not there. The only chopper at Nadzab at lunch on Saturday was a blue 406. That departed not long after in the opposite direction towards Watut.
There was talk that it did a run up to the general area on Sunday morning for a wee look. But came back reporting nothing found.

It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that the Hevilift chopper turned up. By which fairly late in the afternoon weather became a factor and they had to defer till Monday morning.

NCA made some runs up to the area Saturday afternoon and located a possible location. They again went up Sunday morning and left a team at the nearest strip to attempt to reach the site by foot. Ultimately they couldn't reach it.

Tuesday morning a Porgera rescue team member rapelled to the wreckage and declared our fellow aviator deceased.

A sad sad few days for PNG aviators.
Blue sky's forever brother.

With due resects, you talk as if on location. What did you do?

I know when I was involved in a lost aircraft of a friend/group, I sent out every resource available in the hours before it was taken over by the official SAR.

I personally wore some cost, but that was never a issue or concern. I said fill up and search - to me that was my guarantee to pay whatever the cost.


Bad weather was also a factor in that accident and one never found.

But we gave +100% effort as private individuals.
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 21:44
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bend alot View Post
With due resects, you talk as if on location. What did you do?
Woah there cowboy. I don't know what you're getting at with a response like that but how about you have a good read and then think a bit before shooting your mouth off.

My reply was simply a brief timeline and a correction to what was previously requested. I'm sure you're well aware of the amount of rpt traffic passing through NZ on a daily basis. When we passed through ISM hadn't officially been confirmed missing yet. Slightly overdue yes but not missing.

When we passed through on Sunday we'd already been informed that Hevilift were sending one of there 402s.
Which, unfortunately, didn't arrive till Sunday afternoon.

I've also been involved in a search previously (Tropicair caravan). But when you're operating on a part 121 aircraft you simply cannot buzz around low enough to see anything below the jungle canopy or for any considerable time to assist. This really does make you feel helpless I can assure you that. In terrain and jungle like that you can really only look for smoke.
But as we found out later NCA aircraft have gps trackers so they already had some coordinates. The only suitable search aircraft was there own Pac the other islander or any choppers that could assist.

The situation was constantly in everyone's mind across the weekend. Many phone calls between friends to find out more information or make suggestions of contacts at companies that may have equipment to help.

Seeing as though your so quick to ask "What did you do?" How about you send a letter to the PNG Government or even the PNGDF force and ask where were they during all of this. But, I'm sure you know the answer to that.
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Old 31st Dec 2017, 01:48
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mudpig View Post
No wrong. I can assure you they certainly were not there...
Well, the Manolos pilot himself reports they were airborne out of LAE within 30 minutes of the accident. They were called directly by NCA to respond. So I stand by what I said earlier.

PNGDF were also scrambled but their helicopter can't hover at 9,500' so the rescue effort was left to civilian resources.
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Old 31st Dec 2017, 08:54
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
Well, the Manolos pilot himself reports they were airborne out of LAE within 30 minutes of the accident. They were called directly by NCA to respond. So I stand by what I said earlier.

PNGDF were also scrambled but their helicopter can't hover at 9,500' so the rescue effort was left to civilian resources.
Fair call. I stand corrected if he departed Lae. Unfortunately the timeline stated we heard nothing and certainly not within the 30 min of aircraft being overdue.
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Old 31st Dec 2017, 09:22
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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I was there at the time. NCA sent a pac to the area, and a helicopter was also sent from Lae, within a short time of ISM being overdue.

Last edited by kpaps; 1st Jan 2018 at 16:23. Reason: spelling
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Old 2nd Jan 2018, 00:08
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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The pilot has been named as David Tong in The Australian. A gifted musician . Last night on the ABC is it Hewitt conducts a program where she visits outlying areas of Aus . Robe in SA was featured. It has a monument pays tribute yearly to 20 crayfisherman who died over 70 years.It pays to reflect on how many expats have died over the years. Those who pretend that the death toll has dropped because of Government vigilance is disa lusioned. There are a fraction of the airstrips serviceable today the amount of bush flying has reduced hugely plus GPS. Talair had nearly 70 aircraft. Pom to Kerema prior to 74 had 7 strips i recall all now closed.
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Old 2nd Jan 2018, 23:05
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by greg47 View Post
...Pom to Kerema prior to 74 had 7 strips i recall all now closed.
There you have it, prior to '74. Since Independence things have deteriorated to the state it is in now. The promises of great wealth due to extraction of natural resources has come to virtually nothing. The trees are going, the oil is almost gone and there is very little to show for it. Without the billions of dollars in foreign aid gifted to the country since Independence the situation today would be even worse.
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 01:45
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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On the other hand some people have done very well indeed and they should be an inspiration to everyone else !
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 05:47
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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The promises of great wealth due to extraction of natural resources has come to virtually nothing.
Not for the politicians; they have certainly prospered.

Without the billions of dollars in foreign aid gifted to the country since Independence the situation today would be even worse.
PNG does not need foreign aid; it just needs good governance.
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 06:26
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by The Wawa Zone View Post
On the other hand some people have done very well indeed and they should be an inspiration to everyone else !
Property developers and real estate agents in Cairns and Singapore in particular.
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Old 5th Jan 2018, 02:53
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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In the year 2000 despite starting my career on single engine aircraft, like many young pilots I was finding the search for twin engine experience even in the Northern Territory tough going. After an extensive search for twin engine opportunities, I got in touch with Geoff Thiele of North Coast Aviation.

Geoff was affable and clearly very experienced. He indicated that given that I had some territory experience, I would likely start on the Islander if I chose to come up to PNG and have a look. He also suggested that I might buy a return ticket for my trip over in the event that I didn't like it. What's not to like I presumed!

Upon arrival in Lae, Geoff was kind enough to offer me a familiarisation flight up in to the Kabwum Valley. The Kabwum valley contains a number of hill tribe villages nominally four thousand feet above sea level. It is called a valley because it is surrounded on all sides by mountainous terrain as high as fifteen thousand feet.

Climbing out of Nadzab was both spectacular and daunting. As we approached a lower point in the surrounding high terrain known as "20 mile gap" we entered solid cloud cover.

With a fully loaded Islander struggling to climb at almost ten thousand feet above sea level we were indicating an airspeed of 65 knots. I couldn't help but notice the trees rushing past us no more that one thousand feet below despite not being able to see anything in front of us.

Having been awed by the view up to that point, I failed to realise that Geoff had been using a Garmin 100 GPS receiver to determine his position through the "Gap", this is not a device that was, is or ever has been approved for use in Instrument Flight Conditions and in the even higher surrounding terrain such as we had, there are limitations with its ability to receive a satellite signal and determine an accurate position in any case.

Upon our return to Lae I asked Geoff about an NCA pilot that had been killed in the previous months, there was a picture of him on the back of one of the office doors in his aviator sunglasses. Geoff was candid enough to point out that this young man was killed on his second flight in to a particular airstrip for which he was to have been checked out three times. He crashed all alone. When asked why he wasn't supervised three times in to the airstrip, as was the requirement, Geoff responded by saying, "He was a good operator, he looked like he'd be fine, I guess it's all water under the bridge now". I've never forgotten those words.

I didn't have the privilege of knowing David or the circumstances that surround David's accident, nevertheless like many others, reading about it sent chills up my spine, particularly when I saw a YouTube video of him performing such beautiful music as a child prodigy of eleven years.

On reflection, it seemed strange that this accident would be in any way more poignant than the stories of the many other young pilots that have lost their lives in similar circumstances. Perhaps David's extraordinary humanity was highlighted so eloquently through his other passion in a way that simply tells us of yet another tragic story a very different way.

I never thought I would take Geoff's advice and use the return ticket to Australia. Indeed following the collapse of Ansett, the struggle to gain hours back home didn't get any easier and I sometimes wondered if I had made the right decision. Another PNG pilot had suggested that the flying in PNG was all a matter of setting your own personal minimum standards.

Maybe the only thing I had going for me was that I didn't trust myself to operate in such an environment. Perhaps if Geoff hadn't of shown me how things were done, I too might also have chosen adventure over comfort and familiarity.

My deepest condolences to all him knew him.
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Old 5th Jan 2018, 09:04
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Willie Nelson View Post
...With a fully loaded Islander struggling to climb at almost ten thousand feet above sea level we were indicating an airspeed of 65 knots. I couldn't help but notice the trees rushing past us no more that one thousand feet below despite not being able to see anything in front of us.

Having been awed by the view up to that point, I failed to realise that Geoff had been using a Garmin 100 GPS receiver to determine his position through the "Gap"...
Absolute madness. That is so wrong for so many reasons. Even by PNG standards, which I'm quite familiar with (having 10 years experience flying in PNG). Pilots get killed in PNG mainly because they do stuff that they shouldn't. Either because they've seen someone else do it, or they feel under pressure to do it for whatever reason, or for reasons known only to themselves. Controlled flight into terrain, usually in bad weather. Nothing mechanically wrong with the aircraft.
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Old 5th Jan 2018, 10:23
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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I flew both 260 and 300hp Islanders into the Kabwum Valley to and from Lae airport. I don’t recall any issues when it came to climbing. Obviously the 300hp was better, but most of our Islanders were 260s. Maybe the locals were skinnier back then?
That said, we used to fly east/northeast out of Lae to avoid the Nadzab CTA steps, so we went around the big rocks rather than over them!
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Old 5th Jan 2018, 12:19
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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gulliBell is your time in PNG rotary?

The Otter faces similar problems “jumping” ridges as the BN2.

The majority of fixed wing has cleaned itself up in recent years and some have a way to go.
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Old 5th Jan 2018, 22:41
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Speaking of Otter...I was so spooked about what was going on I spoke up about it. A month later the Kokoda prang happened (same operator). I’ve been out of the PNG loop for a few years now, I’m glad to read of improvements.
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Old 6th Jan 2018, 00:48
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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On my own and a long way short of full fuel . I had a 260hp islander at 14000 ft plus out of Woitape for what its worth
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Old 6th Jan 2018, 00:53
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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I had 18 years flying in PNG. You inevitably sometimes did the wrong thing. I was never pressured by any operator(4) to do that. Geoff Thiele is a fine man and its pretty raw flying. You get bettter with time and exposure
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Old 6th Jan 2018, 02:24
  #59 (permalink)  
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On my own and a long way short of full fuel . I had a 260hp islander at 14000 ft plus out of Woitape for what its worth
Got one to 17,000' once in much the same circumstances.
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Old 6th Jan 2018, 06:34
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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With no navaids working in the country GPS or local knowledge is the only form of navigation these days. Makes legal IFR almost impossible.
Rotary IFR is just all sorts of wrong...
Sad state of affairs really.
Someone needs to call it what it is... a failed state.
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