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Report says Air Niugini crash ‘an accident’ but no cause yet

Air Niugini crash schematic
Illustration of the Air Niugini flight crash site in Chuuk Lagoon. CVR = cockpit voice recorder (FSM Civil Aviation)

KEVIN KERRIGAN | The Guam Daily Post

TAMUNING - The Air Niugini flight that crashed on approach to the Chuuk International Airport on 28 September fell 1,500 feet short of the runway, a preliminary report states.

When the Boeing 737 hit the water, the main landing gear was torn off and the rear fuselage behind the wing "fractured during the impact sequence," the report states.

The report was compiled by the Federated States of Micronesia Division of Civil Aviation with the assistance of the Papua New Guinea Accident Investigation Commission, and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

They classified the crash as "an accident," however their preliminary report reaches no conclusions about the cause.

According to the report, "the aircraft was substantially damaged by impact forces." There was no evidence of a pre- or post-impact fire.

As the plane settled into the water it drifted south and turned clockwise, nearly full circle, ending up with its nose pointing  back in the direction of  its failed final approach path.

The plane eventually come to rest on the seabed, 90 feet down in the Chuuk Lagoon.

The preliminary report states that all findings, causes and contributing factors have been "reserved for the final report" one year from the date of the crash.

There were 12 crew members and 35 passengers on board. Six passengers were seriously injured, and one passenger died.


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William Dunlop

Dick Glassey, John Reagan and Dave McClure - what say you on this disaster?

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