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Last updated: 19 September 2020
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 28 April 1970
Time:09:12 EST
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 100
Operator:Trans Australia Airlines - TAA
Registration: VH-TGR
C/n / msn: 6
First flight: 1966
Total airframe hrs:3905
Cycles:6795
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-20
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 9
Total:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 11
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:5 km (3.1 mls) W of Kainantu (   Papua New Guinea)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Goroka Airport (GKA/AYGA), Papua New Guinea
Destination airport:Kainantu Airstrip, Papua New Guinea
Flightnumber:1369
Narrative:
The DHC-6-100 Twin Otter aircraft, VH-TGR, was scheduled to operated TAA flight 1369 from Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea at 06:30 hours. Destination was Lae, with en route stops at Banz, Minj, Chimbu, Goroka and Kainantu. The service proceeded uneventfully via the first four intermediate stops and the aircraft departed Goroka for Kainantu at 08:52 hours with nine passengers, including four children, on board.
The flight plan for this sector indicated that the aircraft would take 15 minutes to fly the 25 miles from Goroka to Kainantu and the proposed cruising level was 7,500 feet above mean sea level or approximately 1,500 feet above the general level of the en-route terrain.
The aircraft was following the normal route from Goroka, but flying very low and just beneath the extremely low cloud that persisted in the area. Flying right at the base of the overcast, the aircraft then entered a saddle in a ridge that lay at right angles to its track. Almost immediately afterwards, the engine noise increased and the aircraft banked steeply into a turn to the left.
The turn continued through about 180 degrees until the aircraft, just clearing the slopes of the northern side of the saddle, was heading back in the direction from which it had come. But before it could regain the area of lower terrain to the west of the ridge, the aircraft flew into a stand of tall trees on top of a spur in the saddle. Cutting a swathe through the trees the aircraft cleared the top of the spur itself and crashed on to a grass covered slope on its western side.

Probable Cause:

CAUSE: The probable cause of the accident was that the pilot persisted with such determination or confidence in his attempts to reach his destination in the face of deteriorating weather conditions, that he did not ensure he could safely discontinue the approach at any time and still maintain visual reference to the significant terrain.

Classification:
VFR flight in IMC
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» The Sydney Morning Herald - Apr 30, 1970
» The Sydney Morning Herald - Apr 29, 1970
» DCA Australia Special Investigation Report 70-3


Photos

photo of DHC-6-Twin-Otter-100-VH-TGR
accident date: 28-04-1970
type: de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 100
registration: VH-TGR
photo of DHC-6-Twin-Otter-100-VH-TGR
accident date: 28-04-1970
type: de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 100
registration: VH-TGR
photo of DHC-6-Twin-Otter-100-VH-TGR
accident date: 28-04-1970
type: de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 100
registration: VH-TGR
 
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