Helicopter Accident To Be Investigated

The Accident Investigation Commission (AIC) has begun an investigation into a recent helicopter accident at Gobo, Jiwaka Province.

The helicopter, a MIL MI8 helicopter registered P2-MHM, is owned by Captston Aviation PTE Ltd and operated by Hevilift Aviation Ltd.

Chief Commissioner of the PNG AIC, Hubert Namani said in a media statement that on 15 May 2021 at about 11:30am, the helicopter took-off from Gobo in a cargo flight to Mount Hagen, Western Highlands Province.

“Reportedly, after vertical take-off to hover, there was a low rotor RPM indication, causing the flight crew to bring the helicopter back to the ground. Upon contact with the ground, there would have been a loss of control of the helicopter, which subsequently rolled over, impacting its tail boom and main rotor blades with the ground. The helicopter came to rest in the upside-down position,” Mr Namani said.

The AIC reported that there were four persons on board the aircraft, two flight crew, one flight engineer and one load master.

Reportedly, one of the occupants suffered minor injuries and the rest were uninjured.

The helicopter was destroyed as a result of the forces of impact in the context of the accident.

Mr Namani explained that: “The AIC became aware of the accident less than one hour after it occurred and immediately commenced an investigation under the Civil Aviation Act 2000 (as amended) and aligned with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.”

“As part of AIC initial investigation activities, a team of investigators have been dispatched to the accident site to perform on-site technical examinations and information gathering.

“Further stages of the investigation will include the collection of evidence and analysis of information in areas related to flight operations, human performance, aircraft maintenance, environmental conditions, organisational aspects and other areas, to the extent relevant for the improvement of aviation safety,” he explained.

The AIC stated that investigation of accidents and serious incidents is solely to improve aviation safety as an international obligation for PNG as a State, contracting to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

Salome Vincent