AIC investigation team in Chuuk

Personnel from the PNG Accident Investigation Commission (AIC) are in the Federated States of Micronesia to investigate circumstances that led to the crash of Air Niugini’s P2-PXE Boeing 737 – 800 plane.

Minister for Civil Aviation, Alfred Manase, said two investigators arrived in Chuuk 22 hours following the incident and immediately commenced assisting the FSM investigation team.

Minister Manase said as per the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13 Standards, the FSM have allowed for the PNG AIC Investigation team to participate in the investigation.

He said the two member team arrived in Chuuk on Saturday 29th September at 8 am and immediately began investigation with FSM officials.

Manase said the PNG AIC team has been delegated the task of downloading, decoding and analyzing data from the Flight Data and Cockpit Voice Recorders and any other recorded medium to the PNG AIC.

The Minister announced that a FSM investigator will accompany the recorders to Port Moresby and will work with the AIC team, both for investigation and training purposes.

The Minister based on the information they have currently, the P2-PXE landed in the Chuuk Lagoon about 60 metres short of Chuuk International Airport runway 04. All occupants exited the aircraft and were promptly rescued and brought to shore by local boats. There were 12 crewmembers and 35 passengers on board. Six passengers were seriously injured, and one passenger is unaccounted for.

Manase said the PNG AIC is the only authorized agency to release accurate information from the incident.

He informed the media to seek clarity with the PNG AIC to confirm and not to speculate. He said added the commission would release updates on the investigation.

He said currently PNG AIC is in the advanced stages of negotiating an MOU with the Department of Transportation, Communication, and Infrastructure of the Federated States of Micronesia, and other states in the Pacific Region.

He said while the MOU has not yet been signed, the AIC is joining with the FSM team in investigating this major aircraft accident in accordance with the terms of the draft MOU.

Cedric Patjole