Accident description
Last updated: 23 April 2014
Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Thursday 13 October 2011
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH8A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-102
Operator:Airlines PNG
Registration: P2-MCJ
C/n / msn: 125
First flight: 1988-11-04 (22 years 12 months)
Total airframe hrs:38421
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW120A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 28 / Occupants: 29
Total:Fatalities: 28 / Occupants: 32
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:20 km (12.5 mls) S of Madang Airport (MAG) (   Papua New Guinea) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Lae-Nadzab Airport (LAE/AYNZ), Papua New Guinea
Destination airport:Madang Airport (MAG/AYMD), Papua New Guinea
A de Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 turboprop passenger plane was involved in an accident 20 km south of Madang, Papua New Guinea. There were 32 people on board. All three crew members and one passenger survived.
The airplane operated on Airlines PNG flight CG1600 from Port Moresby (POM) to Madang (MAG) via Lae-Nadzab (LAE). The aircraft departed Lae at 16:47 and climbed to FL160 en route to Madang. The flight progressed normally and the flight was transferred to Madang Air Traffic Control (ATC) at 17:10. The descent profile on this sector was steep because of the proximity of the Finisterre Ranges to Madang and the pilot-in-command (PIC), who was the handling pilot, was hand-flying the aircraft because the autopilot was unserviceable. He was manoeuvring the aircraft visually to avoid cloud and thunderstorms. At 17:12, in response to a request from Madang Tower, the flight crew stated the aircraft was 24 NM from Madang, leaving 13,000 feet on descent.
At approximately 17:15, the aircraft’s overspeed warning horn sounded. Very shortly afterwards, both propellers simultaneously oversped and exceeded their maximum permitted revolutions per minute (rpm) by in excess of 60 percent.
At 17:17, the crew made a Mayday call to ATC and indicated that they were experiencing an in-flight emergency and that both engines had stopped. Madang Tower declared a Distress SAR Phase, believing the aircraft was about to ditch in the ocean. The aircraft force-landed on sparsely timbered terrain on the northern side of the Buang River, 33 km south east of Madang township. During the impact sequence, it was severely damaged while colliding with trees and the ground, and an intense fuel-fed fire began.
Villagers who had heard and witnessed the aircraft in the final stages of its descent proceeded to the crash site to find the fuselage severely disrupted and engulfed in flames. They assisted the four survivors and took them to the nearest first-aid post.

» Courier Mail
» Airlines PNG press release


photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 ZK-NES
ZK-NES moved to Airlines PNG in August 2003 as P2-MCJ
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Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
04 NOV 1988 C-GETI de Havilland Canada first flight
09 DEC 1988 B-15203 Great China Airlines delivered
DEC 1995 Bombardier Aircraft Trading bought
DEC 1995 ZK-NES Ansett New Zealand leased
04 SEP 2000 ZK-NES Qantas New Zealand became a franchise of Qantas
APR 2001 ZK-NES Qantas New Zealand airline went into liquidation; withdrawn from use and stored at Christchurch
SEP 2002 ZK-NES Origin Pacific Airways leased
01 AUG 2003 P2-MCJ Airlines PNG leased

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Lae-Nadzab Airport to Madang Airport as the crow flies is 183 km (114 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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