AAP - INADEQUATE PILOT experience and cloudy conditions are believed to have contributed to the 2009 Kokoda plane crash. PNG’s transport investigator released its final report into the incident today.
All 13 people aboard the Airlines PNG flight, including nine Australians, were killed when the small passenger plane slammed into the side of a hill as it made its way to Kokoda on 11 August 2009.
The PNG Accident Investigation Commission said the plane crashed while in controlled flight, meaning there had been nothing wrong with the plane itself.
Although the day had been very cloudy, the crew had attempted a descent using visuals only and it did enter a stage where instruments needed to be used. The co-pilot had not been qualified to fly using instruments.
"When the crew commenced the descent through the Kokoda Gap in the reported rapidly changing weather conditions, they committed themselves to a course of action that they could not be assured of completing safely," the report said.
"It was probable that during the descent, the crew were required to manoeuvre the aircraft to remain clear of cloud, or regain that status, and in so doing, impacted terrain," the report concluded.