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Weather, pilot blamed for PNG plane crash

Friday 23 Nov 2012 2:04 p.m.

Pilot error and bad weather were to blame for an August 2010 crash on a Papua New Guinea island that killed three Australians, according to an official inquiry report.

A Trans Air charter plane carrying five people slid off the runway and burst into flames at Misima Island, Milne Bay, in PNG's southeast, on August 31, 2010.

Among the dead were Trans Air's co-owner and pilot Lesley Wright, 59, from Queensland, marine pilot Richard "Chris" Hart, 61, from Sydney, and Darren Moore, 44, from Leonora in Western Australia, who was a PNG civil aviation flight operations inspector.

A New Zealander, Alexei Filyaev, 50, the sales manager for medivac company International SOS, was also killed.

The New Zealand co-pilot Kelby Cheyne, 25, miraculously survived although he was injured in the crash.

PNG's Accident Investigation Commission, which released its final report on the crash, said the runway was flooded, which made it hard for the plane to land and affected its brakes.


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