Air New Guinea aircraft crashes near Chuuk airport

News is spreading that an Air New Guinea aircraft had crashed; and has taken in water nearby the Chuuk international report. Nobody was killed. More details will be forthcoming I think.


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    A passenger aircraft has come down in a lagoon off Chuuk International Airport in Micronesia after it overshot the runway, say airport officials.

    Images circulating online showed the Air Niugini plane, from Papua New Guinea, sitting in shallow water just off the coast.

    None of the 35 passengers and 12 crew onboard flight ANG73 suffered serious injuries.

    The cause of the crash is unclear, but investigations are due to begin soon.
    "The plane crashed in the lagoon, about 160 yards away from the runway," Chuuk airport manager Jimmy Emilio told the BBC.

    "Right now we don't really know what happened. Investigations will start earliest tomorrow, but [for now], operations are starting again as usual in the airport."

    Mr Emilio said all those onboard the Boeing 737-800 aircraft were taken to hospital for checks, saying he believed some suffered from "minor injuries".

    The aircraft was flying from the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, stopping at Micronesia's Weno island on the way.

  • Passengers safe after Air Niugini flight crashes into sea in Micronesia

    SYDNEY (Reuters) - A flotilla of small boats rescued all 47 passengers and crew from an Air Niugini flight that crashed into the sea short of the runway at an airport in the tiny South Pacific nation of Micronesia on Friday, the airport’s manager said.

    “We don’t really know what happened ... people were rescued by boats - 36 passengers and 11 crew were all rescued, only the plane is sinking right now,” he said.

    The Boeing 737-800 aircraft hit the lagoon surrounding the small island about 9.30 a.m. local time (2330 GMT Thursday), Emilio said. The passengers and crew were taken to hospital but no serious injuries were reported.

    “I thought we landed hard until I looked over and saw a hole in the side of the plane and water was coming in,” passenger Bill Jaynes said in a video posted by the Pacific Daily News website.

    “I thought, well, this is not like the way it’s supposed to happen,” he said. Water was waist-deep in the cabin before rescuers arrived, he said.

    Video published online by Radio New Zealand and pictures posted on Twitter showed the half-submerged aircraft surrounded by small speedboats.

    Air Niugini said in a statement the airline is “making all efforts” to look after the passengers and crew.

    A spokesman for Papua New Guinea’s Accident Investigation Commission said investigators would fly to the scene as soon as possible to piece together what happened.

    In 2013, all 101 passengers aboard a Lion Air flight that overshot the runway at Denpasar in Indonesia and landed in shallow water were similarly rescued by boats without casualties.
  • The residents of Weno, Chuuk who immediately, and at some risk to themselves, launched their small boats to save all 47 passengers are true heroes.

    I hope these heroes are recognized and honored for their life saving skill and bravery.

    I further hope that this preventable accident is thoroughly and professionally investigated and that new safety measures are put in place, as soon as possible, throughout Micronesia.
  • FM, thanks for the details plus photo.s Question: why do you say "preventable accident"? Can you reply without getting yourself into legal trouble? If yes, please do.
  • Oh man.I was in a rush to get my day started.Did however hear some of it on radio.Not all.Much thanks FM for covering it here.True humanity at work there.Great respect for the Chuuks.Thrilled that everyone is alright.
  • Lol@ Marc ...Legal trouble. Greetings Sir!

  • Praise the Lord. The water was calm then after the plane sunk the water started to change.

    Please give us more outboard engines and motorboat. This is more justify.

    Congressmen appropriate money for more outboard engines and boat.

  • marc, I do not know the specific cause or causes for this particular aircraft landing in the water.

    I do know, however, that aircraft crashes are thoroughly investigated in most countries and that when properly conducted, these investigations nearly always identify the factors responsible for the incident....usually human error or mechanical failure....factors which can be addressed and corrected to avoid future crashes.
  • Those fiberglass motorboats look like they're all from the Compact 1 Era days. Most likely they are mostly more than 20 to 30 years old.
  • Saka, the plane is total loss. Investigations from the US federal officials will determine whether any procedures--whether at the airport side or the plane's side or both--caused the crash. Since a lot of speculation always come up in this Forum, I wanted to make sure that if FM were to suggest his suspicion as to the cause of the crash, he must be careful because a lot of money are at stake. If it was the fault of the Chuuk airport's light not being on during the approach or went off during the approach, that would be picked up by the insurance company which will not want to cover this total loss.

    When a plane is approaching a runway, it's my understanding that there is this special light that the pilot is using as a guide for his final approach. It provides a sort of guiding path. If the plane's approach is too low than it is supposed to be, the pilot will see the red light; if it is on the right gliding path, light is not red--probably green or blue or whatever color.

    So if this plane did not make it even close to the airport when it crashed on the water, there could different reasons: 1) path guiding light was off; 2) too cloudy for the pilot to see the guiding light; 3) inexperienced pilot; 4) airplane radar was not working properly; 5) etc.

    These are just speculation but yes, the FAA will do a through assessment. I hope the power and/or backup generators for the runway lights were all functional. Just some thoughts for those of us who fly regularly thru this particular airport.

  • In the U.S., the NTSB - not the FAA - investigates commercial aircraft crashes.

    If requested by a foreign government, the NTSB often lends its expertise and assistance to investigate aircraft accidents outside the U.S.

    I believe the FSM government can submit any request for assistance to the U.S. Embassy in Kolonia.
  • So did the plane actually land and then went all the way beyond the runway to the water or did it not even touch-down?
  • Praise God all are alive. Praise God for the caring people of Chuuk and those in Chuu k who responded and rendered help and assistance.

    Thank you to all who helped in one form or another.
  • I understand that Chuuk airport closed after the crash. Is it still closed? Are United flights landing there?
  • Video of the aircraft in the lagoon on local news here in California tonight.

  • The Plane called for emergency landing. It didn't even reach the runway. You may asked the US Navy working at the Transco Dock. They saw the plane flew very low. The US Navy were there assisted during the rescued operation.

  • I am assuming that FAA will be involved with the investigation because, as I understand it, FAA has been providing funds and training and inspection-- to ensure that all US requirements are in place in all the airports in FAS countries. While FAS countries are foreign countries, I believe there are some federal programs whose funding's requirements must be met--in order for such support funds to continue. Didn't FAA just do an inspection thru the area recently--like several months ago. In any case, I may be wrong. No matter, we need to ensure that the rigorous FAA requirements and certification for airports are applicable to our airports too. For safety reasons--not political.

  • Just wondering what the Air Niugini Crews were in doing in Pohnpei during their layover before coming to Chuuk. Just wondering . . . . .? ? ? ? ? . . . . .
  • Airline Now Says 1 Man Missing in Micronesia Crash

    September 29, 2018 2:41 AM Associated Press

    The airline operating a flight that crashed into a Pacific lagoon Friday in Micronesia now says one man is missing, after earlier saying all 47 passengers and crew had safely evacuated the sinking plane.

    Air Niugini said in a release that as of Saturday afternoon, it was unable to account for a male passenger. The airline said it was working with local authorities, hospitals and investigators to try to find the man.

    The airline did not immediately respond to requests for more details about the passenger, such as his age or nationality.

  • FM, thanks for posting the video. I am glad these guys were there.

  • The US Navy didn't really check at the back of the airplane according to this video images. The missing passenger may be at the very end.
  • What about the other people who went in help? Didn't they check the back either?
  • Air Niugini confirms 1 dead after plane crash in Pacific off Chuuk island

    Air Niugini chief executive Tahawar Durrani said the man's body was found by divers in the lagoon on Monday. The airline has not identified the man or released his nationality.

    "Our outreach team is in touch with the man's family and we are making arrangements to repatriate his body," Durrani said in a statement.

    Four passengers were in stable conditions at a Chuuk island hospital and will be taken soon to Guam for further treatment, Air Niugini said.

    What caused the crash and the exact sequence of events remains unclear. The airline and the U.S. Navy both said the plane landed in the lagoon short of the runway.

    A Papua New Guinea accident investigation team flew to Micronesia on Friday, the Post Courier newspaper reported.

    An official from Micronesia's Division of Civil Aviation did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
  • Press Release by the FSM Incident-in-Charge

    On September 28, 2018, at around 9:45 a.m. Air Niugini Flight No PX073 from Pohnpei to Chuuk with 47 people on board the plane ended in a crash into the Chuuk Lagoon near the international airport. One person on board the plane died, 9 were admitted to the Chuuk Hospital with 4 in critical condition needing immediate medical attention. Surviving passengers were transported safely to Port Moresby by a rescue flight from Chuuk.

    FSM is thoroughly investigating the incident with Assistant Secretary Master Halbert of the FSM TC&I in charge of the investigation. FSM Justice Department/National Police is securing the site and providing necessary assistance to the investigation.

    Request was made to the US Government for its assistance, and investigators arrived in Chuuk to join the investigation team. FSM and PNG are also working together on this investigation. The FSM IIC welcomed the assistance that the PNG Aircraft Incident Commission (AIC) has offered to FSM and is requesting further cooperation especially in the downloading, decoding and analyzing the data from the so-called Black Box (Flight Data and Cockpit Voice Recorders and the Quick Access Recorder) once it is extracted from the airplane.

    US Navy Divers have successfully extracted body of the unaccounted person on board and transported to Chuuk State Hospital. FSM Government is notifying the Country of Nationality through its Foreign Affairs.

    Air Niugini is arranging the repatriation of the deceased once next of kin is notified.

    Plans are underway for recover the Black Box from the submerged airplane.

    Official update to the media will be issued by the Investigator in-charge.
  • This is the fourth press release from the FSM Investigator-in-Charge on the Air Niugini crash.

    Press Release by the
    FSM Investigator-in-Charge / October 4, 2018 at 6:00 PM / No. 4

    At 10:25 AM on Thursday October 4, 2018, the civilian Divers contracted by FSM recovered the Automated Flight Information Reporting System unit (AFIRS) from the Air Niugini Flight 073 that landed into the water of the Chuuk Lagoon.

    The Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRS™), provides functions such as safety services voice and text messaging, data collection and transmission, and on-demand streaming of flight data recorder (black box), engine and airframe data.

    AFIRS sends this information through the Iridium Satellite Network to a ground-based server that routes the data to an end point for data analysis. It also provides a real-time interface with an aircraft.

    The unit will accompany the Flight Data Recorder to the PNG AIC Laboratory in Port Moresby accompanied by FSM Investigators for data downloading and analysis to determine the cause of the accident.

    The Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) recovered from the aircraft yesterday will be taken to the manufacturers facility in the USA to be decoded with specialised software. It’s stored data will provide the investigation with additional information on alerts and warnings.

    Diving in support of the search for the Cockpit Voice Recorder is continuing.

    Official update to the media will be issued by the FSM Investigator in-charge.
  • This is the fifth press release regarding the crash of the Air Niugini flight in Chuuk:

    Press Release by the FSM Investigator-in-Charge / October 5, 2018 at 6:00 PM / No. 5

    At 1:40 PM on Friday October 5, 2018, US Navy Divers working at the direction of the FSM Investigator in Charge recovered the Cockpit Voice recorder (CVR) from the Air Niugini Flight 073 that landed into the water of the Chuuk Lagoon.

    The CVR preserves the recent history of the sounds in and around the cockpit, including the communication between the aircraft and air traffic control and the conversations of the pilots for about two hours.

    The CVR will now be taken to the PNG AIC Laboratory in Port Moresby accompanied by FSM Investigators for data downloading and analysis to determine the cause of the accident.

    The Government of FSM expresses grateful thanks to the US Navy dive team, the civilian divers, Boeing representatives and the investigators from the PNG Accident Investigation Commission, the US National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA who provided on-site assistance during the diving operations to recover the recorders that are vitally important to the investigation.

    Once the data from all recorders has been downloaded the painstaking analysis of the recorded information will commence.

    A Preliminary Report is expected to be published by the FSM National Government by the end of October. That report will provide a summary of information that has been verified as factual at that time. This is a complex investigation and the final report is expected to take a number of months to complete.

    Official update to the media will be issued by the FSM Investigator in-charge
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