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Last updated: 25 July 2021
Datum:Samstag 23 Dezember 2017
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic BN2P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander
Fluggesellschaft:North Coast Aviation
Kennzeichen: P2-ISM
Werknummer: 227
Baujahr: 1970-11-13 (47 years 2 months)
Triebwerk: 2 Lycoming IO-540-K1B5
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 1 / Insassen: 1
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 0
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 1 / Insassen: 1
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:11,3 km (7.1 Meilen) S of Dinangat Village (   Papua Neuguinea)
Flugphase: Während des Fluges (ENR)
Flug von:Derim Airport (DER/AYDE), Papua Neuguinea
Flug nach:Lae-Nadzab Airport (LAE/AYNZ), Papua Neuguinea
A BN-2A Islander aircraft, registered P2-ISM, owned and operated by North Coast Aviation, impacted a ridge, at about 9,500 ft, that runs down towards the Sapmanga Valley from the Sarawaget Ranges, Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea. The pilot elected to track across the Sarawaget ranges, from Derim to Nadzab Airport, not above 10,000 ft. GPS recorded track data immediately prior to the last GPS fix showed that the aircraft was on a shallow descent towards the ridge at that time. The aircraft impacted the ridge about 150 metres beyond the last fix.
During the search for the aircraft, what appeared to be the right aileron was found hanging from a tree near the top of the heavily-timbered, densely-vegetated ridge. The remainder of the wreckage was found about 150 m from the aileron along the projected track. The aircraft impacted the ground in a steep nose-down, right wing-low attitude. The majority of the aircraft wreckage was contained at the ground impact point. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces. The pilot, the sole occupant, initially survived. The pilot had made contact with one of the operator’s pilots at 16:15 on 23 December.
Bad weather in the area prevented a recovery until December 26. By that time the pilot had died of his injuries.

Probable Cause:

Causes [Contributing factors]:
Cloud build up along the pilot's chosen route may have forced him to manoeuvre closer than normal to the ridge, in order to avoid flying into the cloud.
The aircraft's right wing struck a tree protruding from the forest canopy during controlled flight into terrain. It is likely that the right aileron mass balance became snagged on the tree and rapidly dislodged the aileron from the wing. The loss of roll control, and the aerodynamic differential, forced the aircraft to descend steeply through the forest and impacted terrain.

Other factor
While not contributing to this accident, the lack of appropriate and effective Search and Rescue capability, and the lack of a Rescue Coordination Centre established, maintained and operated in accordance with ICAO Annex 12 Standards, likely contributed to the delayed rescue.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIC PNG
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 219 days (7 months)
Accident number: AIC 17-1004
Download report: Final report



PNG AIC issued 1 Safety Recommendation

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photo of BN-2A-Islander-P2-ISM
accident date: 23-12-2017
type: Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander
registration: P2-ISM
photo of BN-2A-Islander-P2-ISM
Aircraft track and wreckage location

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 Derim Airport to Lae-Nadzab Airport as the crow flies is 63 km (39 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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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