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“I can’t see mum anywhere; I think mum is gone…”

I am never flying with Airlines PNG again....


AFTER THE WAY I saw my dear wife and the other 27 passengers die a very terrible death on that ill-fated flight from Port Moresby to Madang on Thursday 13 October, I am never going to fly with Airlines PNG again.

My son, Reginald Jr, is also traumatised by this event.

Since that time, I have spoken to a few people connected personally to the families of those who lost their loved ones in this terrible plane crash, and they also say they will never fly on an APNG plane again.

I was never a fearful person, but now this has changed.  I find that I am afraid of flying on planes, especially on an APNG flight no matter what they say about it being safe to fly again.

I just cannot stop thinking about how my wife and those 27 good people died in the way they did.  It was a terrible sight to see when I visited the crash scene in Madang with my son.

The poor boy and my nephew had to escort me to the area again for me to say my last farewell to my good mate of nearly 40 years.  My wife and I had been close since our school days at Sogeri Senior High.

am compiling my own personal analysis or report (call it what you like) of what I saw at the crash site and talking to former military and APNG pilot associates to help the families of those who died in this terrible air incident.

Remember the living are the biggest victims in this sad and unfortunate tragedy.

Is APNG going to compensate the families who will grieve and feel this pain for the rest of their living days?  Who is going to help these families pick up the pieces of their broken lives?

With the help of the families affected and many other like-minded Papua New Guineans we are thinking of forming a Balus Kras Victims Support Group as either an association or a foundation.

The plan is to have a dedicated support group of friends and a family network: individuals who have experienced the loss of a loved one in an aviation accident brought together for support through the grief and healing process. 

I thank God for saving my life as my wife and I planned to travel together to go see our son at Divine Word University for its 'Thanksgiving' program.

But it did not turn out that way.

God may have spared me as my work in this world is not yet done. I will now live each day as if it was my last day on earth - one day at a time.

God is good!


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Barbara Short

Thank you for this wonderful article, Reg.

I think the setting up of a "Balus Kras Victims Support Group" is an excellent idea.

Those young students who have lost their mothers and fathers and other close relatives in this crash will need loving support for a long time to come.

Teenagers especially need their mothers and fathers at this important time in their lives when many changes are taking place.

I guess it will be difficult doing all the follow up as they probably come from various provinces.

But I'm sure Divine Word University will be a special place to them for the rest of their lives.

God bless you all.

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