Precisely 11 years in the past at present, on Thursday, October 13, 2011, Airways PNG (Papua New Guinea) Flight 1600 crash-landed in a forested space close to the mouth of the Gogol River, killing 28 of the 32 passengers.
The plane concerned within the incident was a 23-year-old de Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 with the registration P2-MCJ. The aircraft was piloted by 64-year-old Australian Captain William (Invoice) Spencer. Captain Spencer had logged 18,200 flying hours, of which 500 had been on the Sprint 8. The First Officer on the flight was 40-year-old New Zealander Campbell Wagstaff, who had 2,725 flying hours, of which 390 had been on the Sprint 8.
Airways PNG Flight 1600 was a home flight in Papua New Guinea
Airways PNG Flight 1600 was a often scheduled home flight between Lae-Nadzab Airport (LAE) and Madang Airport (MAG). Onboard the aircraft had been the 2 pilots, one flight attendant, and 29 passengers.
The aircraft departed from Nadzab at 16:47 native time for the 114-mile flight north. The plane climbed to a cruising altitude of 16,000 toes after which diverted proper of its flight path to keep away from a thunderstorm. The route the pilots had submitted required they make a steep descent into Madang Airport.
The pilots by no means lowered the rpm of the propellors
Regardless of the steep descent into the airport, the pilots left the aircraft’s propellors on their cruise setting of 900 rpm, which precipitated the aircraft’s airspeed to extend. Neither of the pilots seen that the plane was flying quicker than it ought to have been, as they had been each distracted by the climate situations.
When the aircraft reached its most working pace (VMO) because it handed by means of 10,500 toes, the VMO overspeed warning sounded, alerting the pilots to the hazard. Captain Spencer then informed his co-pilot to extend the propeller pace to 1,050 rpm to sluggish the aircraft down as he concurrently raised the plane nostril. Regardless of the changes, the VMO warning continued to sound.
In his recollection of occasions, First Officer Wagstaff recalled Captain Spencer transferring the ability levers again. Following the maneuver, each propellors exceeded their permitted most pace of 1,200 by 60%, damaging each engines. The noise within the cockpit was now so loud that the pilots had problem speaking with one another. As smoke from the engines entered the cockpit by means of the air con system, each pilots appeared at a loss as to what they need to do.
Abruptly each the left and proper engines failed, leaving the aircraft with out energy. Captain Spencer informed Wagstaff to declare a Mayday and provides Madang Tower their coordinates. Now as a substitute of going by means of a guidelines of procedures, each pilots began to search for a spot the place they might make an emergency touchdown.
The investigation into the crash
The aircraft crash-landed near the banks of the Gogal river, coming to a relaxation a thousand toes from the affect level. Of the 32 passengers and crew, solely the 2 pilots, a flight attendant, and one passenger survived.
The Accident Investigation Fee of Papua New Guinea (AIC), with help from the Australian Transport Security Bureau (ATSB), instantly started to search for solutions. Within the remaining report of the accident launched on June 15, 2014, the AIC mentioned the lack of energy was brought on by Captain Spencer as he tried to sluggish the aircraft down in unhealthy climate.
The report additionally mentioned that the pilots needed to take care of an overspeed of each propellors, which created extreme quantities of drag, making it difficult to manage the aircraft.
The report criticized each pilots for failing to manage the aircraft’s fee of descent and the overspeed. By shutting down each engines, the pilots additionally misplaced all hydraulic and electrical energy that may have improved the survivability of a pressured touchdown.