Wellington, New Zealand - The official crash investigation report released today says the pilot error led the Air Niugini Flight 73 to ditch in a Pacific lagoon last year.
On September 28, 2018, a Boeing 737-800 from Papua New Guinean Air Niugini plunged into a Pacific lagoon in Micronesia while descending for the Chuuk International Airport.
There were 46 people on board, including the crew. Passengers and the crew had to swim for their lives. One passenger died in the incident.
The investigation report released on July 18 by the Papua New Guinea Accident Investigation Commission (AIC) found the pilots of Flight 73 ignored automated verbal alerts from the aircraft's Flight Control System.
According to the data retrieved from the CVR (Cockpit Voice recorder), a total of 13 alerts sounded in the cockpit after the plane descended under the minimum approach altitude.
Despite the repeated warnings from the aircraft's Flight Control System, the pilots continued the landing attempt, although they had no sight with the ground due to the bad weather.
The report said that both pilots were fixated and lost situational awareness.
After the crash, the plane half-submerged in the lagoon and 12 crew members and 34 passengers jumped into the water.
They were saved by local rescue teams and US Navy divers who were in the area.
According to the report, the man who died was not wearing a seatbelt and hit his head severely during the crash.