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Ovation 11th Aug 2009 06:37

Merged: APNG Twin Otter Missing
From News Ltd National Breaking News

Fears for 8 Australians on missing PNG plane

AAP August 11, 2009 04:18pm

A CHARTER plane with eight Australians heading to the Kokoda Track is missing having failed to reach its destination in Papua New Guinea.
The Twin Otter, twin engine, plane left the capital Port Moresby this morning at 9.30am (local time) but had failed to return by the afternoon.

Authorities hold fears for the missing 15 people on board, including eight Australians heading to the Kokoda Track, five local porters and two crew.

The plane was transporting the Kokoda Track trekkers as part of an Adventure Kokoda tour group.
Ori Kennia, former Kokoda mayor, told AAP that PNG authorities began ringing him at lunchtime asking if he had seen anything unusual.

"They rang and I told them, the plane they were talking about, I didn't see it come in," he said.

"There is a plane now circling around searching for it.

harrogate 11th Aug 2009 06:58

Airlines PNG Twin Otter missing over PNG...
Flying from Port Moresby to Kokoda.

13 on board, including 8 Australians

No more info.

harrogate 11th Aug 2009 07:02

Eight Aussies on 'missing' PNG plane

harrogate 11th Aug 2009 07:59

Strange update on this just been on the TV news.

They said two planes and about 25 people have now been accounted for, but the Twin Otter is still missing.

There'd been no mention of 3 planes being missing on earlier news reports, so not sure what the relevance of the breaking update about the 2 planes being accounted for was, really.

The Twin Otter is still missing.

BoeingMEL 11th Aug 2009 08:24

Foul weather and mountainous terrain.. again..
.... huge search problems if there are survivors... good luck to the missing pax and crew..and the searchers too. bm

Amelia_Flashtart 11th Aug 2009 08:45

Harrogate relevance of the 3 aircraft is as per this info released in Australian Press from PNG - it seems 3 left, 1 landed, 1 turned back:

Nine Aussies on missing PNG plane bound for Kokoda

August 11, 2009 06:22pm
.UPDATE: NINE Australians are aboard a missing Papua New Guinea plane, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says.

A DFAT spokeswoman said Airlines PNG had advised that 13 people were on board the plane that went missing on Tuesday en route to the Kokoda Track.

"Nine of the passengers are known to be Australians," she said.

"Consular staff are contacting families of the Australian passengers to offer consular assistance."

The Twin Otter, twin engine, plane left the capital Port Moresby on Tuesday morning at 9.30am (local time) but had failed to return Tuesday afternoon.

Locator map: Plane missing in PNG
It was last heard from as it approached Kokoda.

Authorities hold fears for the missing 13 people on board, including nine Australians heading to the Kokoda Track.

Ori Kennia, former Kokoda mayor, told AAP that PNG authorities began ringing him at lunchtime asking if he had seen anything unusual.

"They rang and I told them, the plane they were talking about, I didn't see it come in," he said.

"There is a plane now circling around searching for it."

The plane had been flying through the Owen Stanley ranges that are famous for its mountainous and rugged terrain.

"The weather up here is really bad, completely overcast," Kennia said.

The charter was scheduled to arrive at the small village of Efogi at 9.55am (local time), before being due at Kokoda by 10.15am, then back at Port Moresby by 11am.

PNG's Civil Aviation Authority are expected to make a statement shortly.

An Airlines PNG plane has begun a search and rescue mission.

Airlines PNG in a written statement said intensive search efforts had begun in the Owen Stanley Ranges north of Port Moresby for one of its planes.

``The airline advises that there are 11 passengers and two crew members aboard the missing plane,'' a spokesperson said.

``The last communication from the missing aircraft was received as it approached Kokoda and an extensive search and rescue mission was activated after it failed to land.''

A major Australian Kokoda adventure company says none of its clients are believed to be on board the missing Papua New Guinea plane.

Adventure Kokoda chief executive Charlie Lynn says all his clients are accounted for after an Airlines PNG aircraft failed to arrive at its destination on Tuesday.

There have been fears eight Australians from Adventure Kokoda were on the plane.

"I've been told that there are no Adventure Kokoda trekkers (on the plane)," he said.

"One of our planes did land at Kokoda today and there are 14 of our trekkers in Kokoda.

"A second plane couldn't get in because of weather. Those 12 trekkers have returned and they're safely in Port Moresby.

"There is an Airlines PNG plane missing. They have helicopters out there searching for it but I've been told there are no Adventure Kokoda people on it at all."

Cool banana 11th Aug 2009 10:18

They were among 13 people on Airlines of Papua New Guinea flight CG4684 that was travelling from Port Moresby to Kokoda but failed to arrive at its destination.

The two crew members aboard the missing plane are believed to be PNG pilots Jenny Moala and Royden Soauka.

The missing plane had aborted its first landing attempt this morning.

Heard they didnt get in on there first attempt while the plane behind them landed, then they did a go-around and then dissappeared.

Kokoda airport is a one way grass strip due to the Stanley Owen range being close by.

captainspeaking 11th Aug 2009 10:31

Airlines of PNG previously lost a cargo-flight Twotter in July 2004 - seems like it was CFIT. Papua New Guinea: Airlines of Papua New Guinea

One hopes, but one fears.

Winged Bird 11th Aug 2009 11:25

Just received this press release from Airlines PNG, please remember that families of the crew and the passengers are sitting at home tonight awaiting news and speculation doesn't help their cause. Lets stick to the facts.

Tuesday 11 June 2009 19:00:
Airlines of Papua New Guinea
has provided further details concerning the events
surrounding the disappearance of one of its Twin Otter turboprop aircraft and the intensive
search and rescue efforts being undertaken in the rugged Owen Stanley Ranges north of
Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
The aircraft - with eleven passengers and two crew members aboard - was scheduled to
arrive at Kokoda Airstrip at 11:20 a.m. after departing Port Moresby at 10:53. At its
scheduled arrival time, Airlines PNG’s Kokoda agent contacted the airline’s Operations
Centre to advise of its non-arrival. The Operations Centre made immediate contact with
Port Moresby Flight Service and were advised that the last radio contact with the aircraft
had been at 11:11 a.m.
At 11:40 a.m., Airlines PNG activated its Emergency Response Plan and a Crisis Centre
was established at its Port Moresby headquarters. Another Airlines PNG Twin Otter had
landed at Kokoda airstrip very shortly after the scheduled arrival time of the first aircraft
and was used to search for the missing aircraft as soon as possible. The airline also
diverted one of its Dash 8 aircraft to the vicinity to do likewise. Additionally the airline
immediately arranged for two Heli-Niugini helicopters to join the search and at 12:00
noon, PNG’s Civil Aviation Authority was advised of the situation and the Australian High
Commission and Japanese Embassy in Port Moresby were notified shortly thereafter.
The Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre, which monitors emergency signals from the
aircraft’s emergency locator beacon was contacted and advised that no signal had been
Airlines PNG is also co-ordinating with the local villages in the area, who have already
sent out search parties on foot, and will report back to Airlines PNG as soon as they have
any additional information.
Of the eleven passengers, there is one Papua New Guinean, a Japanese national and nine
were Australian members of a Kokoda trekking group organized through a Victorian tour
operator, with which organisation the airline has been in regular contact. The two person
crew on the aircraft were both Papua New Guineans.

Jackson’s Airport, Port Moresby
PO Box 170, Boroko, Papua New Guinea
Phone (675) 325 2011 Fax (675) 3252219
Email: apng&apng.com
The Trekking group has advised that it has notified the families of the Australians on
board. Additionally after co-ordination between Airlines PNG and the Australian High
Commission, to ensure the best resources were availed to families of the passengers , the
Australian government has been contacting the families to offer assistance.
Airlines PNG has arranged for assistance for all families in Port Moresby.
The Australian government is also arranging for additional resources to be positioned to
Port Moresby overnight to maximize the chances of a successful outcome.
The missing Twin Otter aircraft had earlier this year undergone a complete refurbishment
programme and was fitted with the some of the latest navigation aids including terrain
advice equipment. The flight crew are experienced with flying in Papua New Guinea’s
challenging conditions and very familiar with the particular route flown, having both flown
in Papua New Guinea for approximately five years on this aircraft type.
Earlier in the day, an Airlines PNG flight had operated into Kokoda under normal weather
conditions but conditions in the mountainous terrain can be subject to sudden changes.
Further assistance is now being provided in the search area by both PNG and Australian
authorities and mining companies in PNG are also providing airborne resources to assist.
Search efforts continue utilising an Australian Maritime Safety Authority aircraft that has
specifically been flown up from Australia. Airlines PNG aircraft and Heli-Nigini
helicopters will continue the search at 0530 in the morning, but are presently constrained
by nightfall and the mountainous nature of the area.
Further update bulletins will be issued by the airline as soon as additional information is

longrass 11th Aug 2009 12:35

Crash site found, army scrambling helos ex Darwin and ran ship diverted to Aussie high commish/ran base POM to provide aviation support, expecting raaf Townsville, Darwin to send c130 each to POM by early morning, good luck

Xcel 11th Aug 2009 16:06


Heard a report that 2 a/c enroute and he turned back whilst other company a/c made it to destination... since missing...

Info is from Hevilift, anyone from APNG commenting...

Hope some locals looking for scrap metal stumble across the survivors...

yowieII 11th Aug 2009 19:21

Can any of the local folk, Chimbu et al, give a description of the possible escape route after a miss? Are there any realistic landing areas along an escape route, if that is the case? Any landing areas in the vicinity?
Lets be hopeful

Chimbu chuckles 11th Aug 2009 20:18

I am hardly local anymore - I left PNG 10 years ago and it must by 1992/93 since I flew Twotters around the Koari (Kokoda track area)...but for what it is worth.

There are two ways of getting to Kokoda from Moresby.

1/. Direct track IFR POM->Girua which is 79nm (from memory) and the LSALT is 13400 (again from memory - might be 13700') Once north of the Owen Stanley ranges (the actual Gap is about 36 DME Moresby) you can descend down visually either over the northen coastal plains and then back south again into the Kokoda Valley which is wide and VERY rarely un-flyable, or directly down into the Kokoda valley which is the first valley south of the coastal plains and parallel with the Owen Stanley ranges but has a river flowing out to the coastal plains.

2. VFR under the weather (you just wouldn't do this in a DHC6 unless you had to go to one of 'The Jungles' strips that line the track first and then to Kokoda) you'd track out from Moresby more northerly than the direct track and enter the Brown River valley that winds its way back NE up into the mountains and takes you to the airstrips that line the track - Nadinumu, Menari, Efogi, Kagi and a few others. From Efogi/Kagi (right next to one another) you cross a ridge at maybe 7500' right behind them and you're over the western end of Lake Myola (prehistoric dry lake bed covered in grass) and the do a sharp left turn and enter the Kokoda Gap itself. I think the lowest I ever went through the Gap is 7200' and at that altitude it is VERY narrow V shaped gorge that drops away steeply and you descend down until it spits you out in the Kokoda Valley maybe a 1/2nm from Kokoda itself. It so narrow that if you entered it at minimum altitude (or even 500' higher) and it was clagged you could NOT do a 180 and fly back out. If the weather was marginal you would more usually fly back down the valley system until you could climb safely to LSALT and then pick up the Moresby -> Girua track and see 1/. above.

The 'Jungles'/Kokoda/Lake Myola area is ROUGH country and the valleys are not wide/open at all - in weather it is a nasty place that has swallowed lots of aircraft - plenty of valleys that look like the right valley but end in a dead end with terrain going up to 12000', for all intents and purpose, vertically - you'd only out climb it in a lightly loaded F18.

This is Kagi facing back towards the south - Efogi is maybe a nm away just out of picture on the left and you can see the ridge you need to cross behind Efogi to get to Lake Myola and the Kokoda Gap. Imagine it with solid cloud below the height of the photographer and rain.


sundaun 11th Aug 2009 20:53

"Escape Route"
Yowie, if the route was POM-KOK he/she could IFR Cat & Procedures depart POM, let down at Girua and proceed VFR to KOK back along track. CFIT possibly in that last segment although faily easy going until Wairopi Bridge then very high terrain either side if forced to turn out. If intermediate stops en-route at Efogi or Kagi before Kokoda, choices are False Gap, Gap, or join LSA on published route and proceed as above, or via Mt Brown, or remain visual, and sector altitudes in these cases vary between 8500 to get through the gap visually to grid Minimum off Route Altitudes of 15,500'. Mrs Daun tells me news saying he/she did a "go-around" at KOK which would require an escape procedure if IFR conditions were encountered. The logical headings would be out towards the Girua aid.I am no expert but this gives some idea of the complexities of PNG flying. The altitudes I have given are approximate. In recent times a variety of aircraft have CFIT'd in the vicinity. A Piaggio in the early 60,s (never found) and an Aztec in the 70s, plus a few on the outhern side. Sori Chimbu, we posted simultaneously.

Waghi Warrior 11th Aug 2009 22:05

Sad news,RIP to those people who lost their lives,if that's required as the aircraft hasn't been found yet,there is still hope.

I just saw Geoff Thomas on TV giving his description on EGPWS,I got a bit dissapointed when he indicated that pilots may (?) use the EGPWS to fly IMC below the LSALT,not to mention that he said the EGPWS is a radar.
Get your fact straight Geoff before making comments like this on national tevevision.

Good to see the Aussies are up here helping out. Maybe someone has listened to Sid O'Toole. I wonder if the Aussies would have got involved if it was a plane full of PNG natinals,trying to land at Selbang that went missing ? I somehow doubt it. It's also quite interesting that EMTV (PNG's national television station) didn't report anything on the news last night (To my knowledge anyway),mean while it's breaking news headlines in Australia.

Amelia_Flashtart 11th Aug 2009 23:08

Latest Update

BREAKING NEWS: A PLANE carrying nine Australians, including two Queenslanders, has been found in dense jungle near the Kokoda Track in PNG.

Joseph Kintau, director of Papua New Guinea's Civil Aviation Authority told ABC radio wreckage of the 20-seater Twin Otter turboprop was found after a radio signal was detected.

Mr Kintau said the wreckage was found early this morning by a rescue helicopter, but he could not confirm the exact location and could not say if there were any signs of survivors.

He said the terrain was “very difficult’’ but a rescue bid would be mounted as soon as possible.

Grave fears are held for the 11 passengers and two crew members who were on Airlines Papua New Guinea flight CG4684 flying from Port Moresby to Kokoda yesterday which disappeared in treacherous weather.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman this morning said authorities were aware of reports that villagers in the Mt Bellamy region may have found the missing plane overnight but could not confirm them.

cnic 11th Aug 2009 23:43

Before the name calling and finger pointing starts I think we should stick to the facts. APNG has just posted news releases on their website. If anyone out there knows how to put links in a post please do it has a lot of information.http://www.apng.com/index.asp?pgid=9 hopefully this works.

RV6 12th Aug 2009 00:12


catseye 12th Aug 2009 01:20

heli niugini pirep
phone interview with David Inau on 11:00am channel 9 news indicated acft impacted just below ridgetop. Wx bad in area. Seaking positioning into Kokoda for winch ops subject to wx.

Not good.

Amelia_Flashtart 12th Aug 2009 01:37

From AAP:

A HELICOPTER crew scanning the crash site of a plane that was flying over Papua New Guinea's Kokoda Track has reported "no immediate signs of activity'' at the scene.

Seven Victorians and two Queenslanders intending to walk the iconic track with the No Roads Expeditions trekking company, were among 13 people aboard the Twin Otter charter aircraft that went down in mountainous country in the Owen Stanley ranges yesterday.

In a written statement, Airlines PNG said their plane was found at 8.40am (8.40 AEST) today.

"The missing aircraft was found at an altitude of 5,500ft (1,676 metres) in the Kokoda area.

"Visual inspections from a helicopter showed no immediate signs of activity.

"A PNG Police response team landed a short distance from the site, but deteriorating weather and limited communications have hampered further information from this team,'' the airline said.

Three helicopters, including a Royal Australian Navy Sea King are in the area, with the intention of landing further personnel to assist.
At least it has been found - now the really difficult part begins and it is not looking good re survivors

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