Aussie pilot dies in plane crash

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 21 September 2014 | 23.08

A plane crash ... involving a Hevilift aircraft has occurred in Papua New Guinea. Source: Supplied

The death toll from a charter plane crash in Papua New Guinea has risen to four.

The two pilots, including an Australian, and a passenger were killed when the Hevilift twin otter aircraft carrying nine people went down near Port Moresby on Saturday morning.

Another passenger, who was taken to hospital in a critical condition, died on Sunday.

The charter flight was travelling from Woitape to the capital when it crashed while approaching the airport.

There were reports that the plane flew into a mountainside after the pilot reduced altitude in poor visibility.

Hevilift has updated the number of people on board and confirmed two crew and seven passengers were travelling on the plane when it went down.

There were further unconfirmed reports the plane had been chartered by a Catholic parish in Woitape and that a pastor and parishionners were among the injured.

Five passengers, all PNG nationals, are thought to have survived and are being treated at a Port Moresby hospital.

The bodies of those killed have been airlifted to the nation's capital.

The chartered flight was travelling from Woitape to Port Moresby when it crashed.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill offered condolences to the grieving families.

"The thoughts of the nation are with the families of the four people who lost their lives, and we pray for the recovery of the five survivors," he said in a statement.

The prime minister assured the public the cause of the crash would be fully investigated.

"It is important that people do not jump to conclusions as to what caused the incident," Mr O'Neill said.

Prayer for survivors ... PNG PM Peter O'Neill assured the public the cause of the crash would be fully investigated. Picture: Kym Smith/News Corp Source: News Limited

The PNG Accident Investigation Commission's William Seneka said the cause of the fatal crash was still unknown but at this stage there were not any issues with the aircraft or the crew.

"The weather is a bit of a factor here," he said.

"There was low cloud in the area." Mr Seneka said the Australian pilot, thought to be a expatriate, was very experienced.

Australians Russell Aitken, 42, and Emmett Fynn, 36, were killed when the Hevilift-chartered helicopter they were travelling in crashed in the PNG Highlands in July, 2012

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