Pilots Ignored Warnings in Moments Before Crash

Air Safety

Reports and details of recent incidents.

(Photo Martin Needham)

The crew of an Air Niugini Boeing 737- 800 failed to respond to numerous alerts warning them they had deviated from the glideslope and should pull up moments before the aircraft crashed into a lagoon, according to a report by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Papua New Guinea (CASA PNG).

The 13-year-old airliner, P2-PXE (c/n 33024), was on a scheduled flight from Pohnpei to Chuuk, both in Micronesia, when it crashed on final approach around 1,500ft (457m) short of the Runway 04 threshold.

As the crew descended through 600ft, the aircraft entered a storm cell and heavy rain. Prior to losing sight of the airport, the co-pilot declared he could see “one red, three whites”, referring to the lights on the Precision Approach Path Indicator. This indicates that the airliner was above the glideslope’s 3° profile, where two red and two white lights would have been visible to the pilots.

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