Air Niugini plane crash: American passenger describes plane missing runway

Charlene Craig
October 1, 2018

Seven passengers and crew were initially hospitalized but no serious injuries were reported.

He said: "I thought we landed hard".

Survivors of the incident have praised the swift rescue efforts of locals on small boats, as well as some United States Navy divers who were close to the scene. Air Niugini, the national carrier of Papua New Guinea, had earlier said all 47 passengers and crew members were evacuated from the sinking aircraft.

"One would think that they might be afraid to approach a plane that's just crashed".

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While the airline did not provide details of the cause of the crash, it said it had received information that "the weather was very poor with heavy rain and reduced visibility at the time of incident". "And I thought, well, this is not the way it's supposed to happen".

Footage has emerged of U.S. navy sailors embarking on a rescue mission in the aftermath of the plane crash - using an inflatable boat to shuttle people ashore before the plane sank in about 100ft (30m) of water.

The Federated States of Micronesia is a nation made up of over 600 islands in the Pacific.

"We were able to get out, the water was only up to about here on me, inside the plane, and we went out the emergency exit doors", Jaynes said.

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The US Navy said sailors working nearby on improving a wharf also helped in the rescue by using an inflatable boat to shuttle people ashore before the plane sank in about 30 meters (100 feet) of water.

Air Niugini scheduled a special flight "to allow those passengers who wish to complete their trip to Port Moresby and onward to their final destinations".

Data from the Aviation Safety Network shows 111 people have died in crashes of PNG-registered airlines in the past two decades but none involved Air Niugini, which has been in operation since 1973.

He said he has yet to see a passenger manifest, but typical passengers would include businesspeople from Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia, as well as some tourists.

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