Plane passengers tell of Minister and phone

Two passengers told the Gore leadership tribunal today that Minister Delilah Gore was on her phone as the plane was approaching the main runway for take off.

The two witnesses were on the same flight on the morning of April 24, 2014 as Delilah Gore.

The tribunal inquiry into allegations of the breach of the Aviation Safety Act by Member for Sohe and Minister for Community Development, Youth, and Religion Delilah Gore re-convened this morning with the prosecution calling three witnesses.

Among those who were called for cross examination were the then Air Niugini port manager for Girua airport Edward Ososo and passengers Morley Mirou and Elisabeth Awaisa.

Mirou, who was seated on the same row as Minister Gore, told the tribunal he had to step in to defuse the situation after he saw an exchange between the minister and the female cabin crew.

He told the tribunal that the minister was frustrated after the cabin crew member told her three times in a strong firm voice, to switch off her phone as it was a company policy.

“There was a bit of shouting and I had to step in and defuse the commotion,” said Mirou who was seated on seat 3A.

The minister was seated on seat 3D.

He said the minister did not have her phone to her ear but had her phone in use in her hand as the aircraft was taxiing out to the main runway.

Both Mirou and Awaisa who were cross examined this morning told the tribunal that as the cabin crew member was taking her seat, Gore in a loud voice said she would call the Minister of Transport to get the CEO of Air Niugini to sack the pilot and cabin crew.

The tribunal continued after lunch with more witnesses called.