Labelled as a serious incident, it is now the subject of an investigation by the PNG Accident Investigation Commission.
In a statement released on Tuesday (March 17th), Chief Commissioner of the PNG AIC, Hubert Namani, said the incident occurred on March 16th between 11:20 and 11:46 am.
The aircraft is a twin-engine Bombardier Dash 8-400 aircraft operated by Sunstate Airlines Pty, Qantas Link flight QLK192D.
Namani said according to the information gathered at the initial stages of the investigation, smoke was detected in the cabin of the aircraft approximately 20 minutes after departure, which led the crew to return to Port Moresby.
“No injuries nor damage were reported as consequences of this occurrence,” said Namani.
Under Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (ICA) the incident falls under the ‘serious incident’ definition.
The PNG AIC will comply with the ICA Convention and conduct an independent and no-blame investigation.
“The AIC team appointed to conduct this investigation will examine operational, technical, organisational and environmental factors involved in the occurrence, to establish the circumstances in which the occurrence happened. As part of its functions, AIC will also establish and make publicly available Safety recommendations to assist avoiding the recurrence of similar events, for the benefit of PNG citizens and for all users of this mean of transport,” said Chief Commissioner Namani.
The PNG AIC will issue a Preliminary report within 30 days.
Picture: Dash-8-Q400 (Credit: Central Queensland Plane Spotting)