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Tropicair Cessna Caravan 208B Crash in Papua New Guinea

An Australian man was one of three fatally injured in a Cessna Caravan 208B Caravan accident in Papua New Guinea on 25 November 2013.  The other two people killed were PNG nationals, and are thought to include the copilot/first officer. The flight of the single engine turbo prop aircraft, operated by Tropicair was a domestic passenger operation from Kamusi to Purari.

Causes are still being investigated but it is initially suspected that the pilot was trying to perform an emergency landing at Kibeni airstrip enroute when it crashed in the river.  Cessna Caravans are common aircraft and thus it is unsurprising that many have been lost in accidents since the aircraft first achieved type certification from the United States FAA in 1984.  Many of the accidents have occurred in North and South America, reflecting the geographical locations of its greatest commercial use.

With respect to the recent PNG crash, the indications that the pilot was trying to make an emergency landing at an aerodrome other than the destination may indicate factors such as weather or other more insidious factors were involved.  The area where the accident happened is known as the Gulf Province, which has low population density and, on the southern coast of the country, is dominated geographically by waterways and flood plains, rather than mountains which dominate the landscape elsewhere.

Just shy of two years ago to the day a Cessna Caravan 208B crashed in Indonesia on 26 November 2011 killing one of the two pilots of the cargo operation.  As reported by the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee, the accident was thought to have been caused by the execution of a missed approach at the destination airport, after an unauthorized person entered the shoulder of the runway.  The crew tried to “go around” to avoid the person, and during this maneuver, which was hampered by the narrowness of the valley, suffered  an unavoidable impact with terrain after a stall.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: September 7, 2017.

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