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Last updated: 21 October 2021
Date:Tuesday 11 August 2009
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
Operator:Airlines PNG
Registration: P2-MCB
MSN: 441
First flight: 1975
Total airframe hrs:46700
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Total:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 13
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:11 km (6.9 mls) SSE of Kokoda Airport (KKD) (   Papua New Guinea)
Crash site elevation: 1760 m (5774 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Port Moresby-Jackson Field (POM/AYPY), Papua New Guinea
Destination airport:Kokoda Airport (KKD), Papua New Guinea
An Airlines PNG DHC-6 Twin Otter passenger plane was destroyed when it flew into a mountainside near Kokoda Airport (KKD), killing all 13 on board. Flight CG 4684 departed Port Moresby-Jackson Field (POM) at 10:53. The Area Weather Forecast (ARFOR) for the intended flight indicated forecasts of isolated showers and thunderstorms with areas of rain. Significant cloud layers at estimated base levels of 800ft with tops of 18,000ft above Mean Sea Level (MSL). Isolated Cumulo Nimbus (CB) or thunderstorm clouds was also forecasted reaching to tops of 45000 ft. Freezing levels was estimated at 15,500 ft above MSL with moderate to severe turbulence within the vicinity of the CB and cumuliform clouds.
At 11:10, the flight crew of P2-MCB reported leaving 9,000 ft on descent to Kokoda via the Kokoda Gap, which is approximately 12 NM (22 km) south-east of the Kokoda airstrip. This was the last radio contact with the flight.
The airplane flew into the side of a tree covered mountain at an altitude of 5774 feet (1760 metres).

The Kokoda Airport is located in a valley at an elevation of 1273 feet, surrounded by mountains in the North and South, some with an elevation of 8500 feet.
The airfield has a single runway, 17/35. It has a 2,2% down slope with landings restricted to runway 17.

Probable Cause:

* Visual flight in the Kokoda Gap was made difficult by the extensive cloud coverage in the area.
* The crew attempted to continue the descent visually within the Kokoda Gap despite the weather conditions not being conducive to visual flight.
* It was probable that while manoeuvring at low level near the junction of the Kokoda Gap and Kokoda Valley, the aircraft entered instrument meteorological conditions.
* The aircraft collided with terrain in controlled flight.

* The copilot was assessed during normal proficiency checks for instrument approach procedures but was not qualified for flight in instrument meteorological conditions.
* The operator did not have a published emergency recovery procedure for application in the case of inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions. [Minor safety issue]
* The Civil Aviation Safety Authority Papua New Guinea surveillance of the operator did not identify the operations by the operator in contravention of Rule 91.112.
* The lack of a reliable mandatory occurrence reporting arrangement minimised the likelihood of an informed response to Papua New Guinea-specific safety risks. [Minor safety issue]
* There was no qualified Director (or similar) of Aviation Medicine in Papua New Guinea (PNG). [Minor safety issue]
* The lack of both flight data and cockpit voice recorders adversely affected a full understanding of the accident by the investigation. [Minor safety issue]

* The investigation was unable to discount the possible incapacitation of the copilot as a factor in the accident.
* Although not required by the aviation rules at the time of the accident, the adoption of threat and error management training for flight crews, and of the methodology by operators would provide a tool to identify and mitigate operational risk as follows:
- by flight crews, when flight planning and during flight; and
- by operators, when developing their operational procedures.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIC PNG
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 8 months
Accident number: AS 09 1005
Download report: Final report

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» SKYbrary 
» Kokoda Track charter plane missing: 9 Australians on board (SMH, 11-8-2009)
» Airlines of PNG Twin Otter disappears in Papua New Guinea (Flightglobal, 11-8-2009)


photo of DHC-6-Twin-Otter-300-C-GNHB
accident date: 11-08-2009
type: de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
registration: C-GNHB
photo of DHC-6-Twin-Otter-300-C-GNHB
accident date: 11-08-2009
type: de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
registration: C-GNHB

Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
19 DEC 1974 C-GNHB On Air, operating for NorOntair registered
03 JAN 1984 C-GNHB Bearskin Airlines, operating for NorOntair On Air taken over by Bearskin
22 MAY 1986 C-GNHB Dale-Air, operating for NorOntair registered
27 MAY 1992 C-GNHB Bearskin Airlines, operating for NorOntair registered
03 SEP 1993 C-GNHB Dale-Air, operating for NorOntair registered
29 JAN 1997 P2-MCB Milne Bay Air registered
2001 P2-MCB Airlines PNG airline renamed

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 Port Moresby-Jackson Field to Kokoda Airport as the crow flies is 83 km (52 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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DHC-6 Twin Otter

  • 930+ built
  • 261st loss
  • 170th fatal accident
  • 43rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 47th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 Papua New Guinea
  • 19th worst accident (at the time)
  • 20th worst accident (currently)
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