Accident de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 VH-HPY,
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Date:Sunday 9 November 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
Owner/operator:Royal Australian Army
Registration: VH-HPY
MSN: 706
Year of manufacture:1980
Total airframe hrs:18208 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:9 km SW of Simbai -   Papua New Guinea
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Koinambe Airport (KMB)
Destination airport:Simbai Airport
Investigating agency: BASI
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On the third day of flying operations in Papua New Guinea, the crew of the Darwin-based Twin Otter were conducting a flight from Madang and return via a number of airstrips in the central highlands. When haze and cloud prevented them flying the flight-planned direct track between the Koinambe and Simbai airstrips, they decided to fly north-west via the Jimi River valley and one of its tributaries. Two of the trainees were occupying the cockpit seats, one as flying pilot and the other as navigating pilot using a 1:1,000,000-scale chart. When the crew turned the aircraft to follow a tributary off the Jimi River, the training pilot was in the aircraft cabin. A few minutes later, their discussion regarding the progress of the flight attracted the attention of the training pilot. By this time, however, the position of the aircraft in the valley, and its available performance, were such that an escape from the valley was not possible. The aircraft collided with trees before impacting steeply sloping ground.

1. There had been a significant loss of corporate knowledge, experience and risk appreciation within the Army concerning the operation of Twin Otter type aircraft in tropical mountainous areas.
2. No training needs analysis for the exercise had been conducted.
3. The tasking and briefing of the training pilot were incomplete.
4. The training pilot did not adequately assess the skill development needs of the trainees.
5. The supervision of the flight by the training pilot was inadequate.
6. The scale of chart used by the crew was not appropriate for the route they intended to fly.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BASI
Report number: BASI report 9703719
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 8 months
Download report: Final report


History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
26 August 2022 P2-KSI Hevilift PNG 0 Mount Hagen Airport, Western Highlands non
Near miss with other aircraft

Revision history:


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