PNGDF SO BROKE AIR WING BREAKS SOP AND STARTS CHARTER/FERRY SERVICE

by CAPTAIN NOBERT BAN

It is so sad the PNGDF Air Element has been hijacked by certain PNGDF pilots and Engineers for sinister reasons. It is amazing to note that the same thieves within PNGDF have been abusing the aircraft by way of engaging into commercial operations at the expense of Tax Payers to make millions in clear profit.

On 13 July 2016, whilst doing one of such commercial flights from Telefomin to Vanimo, the aircraft developed reduced oil pressure on its right hand engine Propeller Reduction Gearbox (PGB). The crew procedurally shut down the affected engine on reaching 18000 ft cruise altitude. Indications of imminent failure were detected whilst passing 15000ft on climb...thank God didn't happen on take off roll or immediately after take off.

After shutting down the engine, it was realised that the Propellers of the affected engine didn't feather. This resulted in creation of aerodynamic drag and reduction in performance. To maintain altitude, the crew was forced to fly at the brink of stall with stick shaker continuously activating. This was necessary in order to minimize rate of height loss to sustain flight until Vanimo. The captain instructed his copilot not to transmit any distress call to Flight Service which was something only a mad man can suggest.

The aircraft made it to Vanimo and landing was effected. Note that under the circumstances, a missed approach would not have been possible .
Following the landing, the pilots for some unthinkable reasons decided to give a ground run on the affected and in doing so, completely ruined the Propeller Reduction Gearbox. This necessitated a complete replacement which now would cost some K2 million for plain stupidity, ignorance, unprofessionalism and negligence.
Took sometime to do an engine change and the aircraft was ferried to Port Moresby.
I was formally asked by the former Chief of Staff PNGDF to carry out an investigation on this serious inflight incident which we duly conducted and released our report on 30 November 2016. It appeared that immediately following the incident, for some bizarre reason, the crew and the air element did not instigate formal investigation. We understand some tens of thousands of Kina had been paid by certain Telefomin businessman come politician but his task was not fully accomplished when the aircraft suffered the defect and that those funds had since been spent for personal use by the ring of PNGDF pilots and Engineers.

My investigation although was obstructed by the PNGDF ATW ASM for reasons to do with reluctance to disclose the truth behind their sinister and illegal operations was too little too late as we at that point of the investigation, have uncovered enough concrete evidence to conclude our investigation. The final recommendation was for the grounding of the only operating Casa Cn-235 aircraft P2-502 pending closure of investigation findings.

We made 8 critical findings and proposed recommendations to assist in the recovery process. One major recommendation we made was for the PNGDF Air Element to undergo a complete 100 % Zero Entry Audit. The reason necessitating this was the entire Safety and regulatory system of PNGDF Air Element as adopted from ADF at the time of establishment of the then Air Transport Squadron has collapsed. Operations had been conducted without reference to any source document. There was no system of safety oversight. Furthermore, the managers themselves are not conversant with their own internal procedures as contained in the Defence Instructions Manuals (Books of references).
My team was shocked to discover that an Audit team from Australian Defense Force (ADF)and New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) did an Audit Review on PNGDF Air Element in May 2011 upon request by former PNGDF Commander Brig. Gen. Francis Agwi with the intent to revive the Air Element but the Air Element hierarchy shelved the Audit Report. The Audit Review (Review as such because the Standards were ICAO SARPS since PNGDF Standards were no where to be found
Identified 81 findings almost all of which were critical.
It also appeared that almost all the findings made by the ADF NZDF Audit team agree with our findings and recommendations.

International Audit protocol disallow conduct of an audit on an existing audit which means before we can carry out a 100 % zero entry Audit on PNGDF Air Element, they will have to address the findings of the ADF NZDF Audit Review which they hid under the carpet for 6 years! When we brought this matter up and were procedurally engaged by PNGDF Directorate of technical Services Air under his delegation consistent with Technical Instructions BR 7100, the CO ATW, DAIRPREP and named pilots and Engineers called us names and advised Chief of Staff PNGDF to engage our services. ..fine. ..who else can do the job. Until such time I am content with closure of the investigation findings I as guardian of air safety will never give the go ahead for that aircraft to regain its Certificate of Airworthiness and return to the skies. No way!

The same hierarchy of PNGDF Air Element completely, deliberately and were obstinate in deceiving the PNGDF Chief of Force Preparation into buying their lies. With the desperation of PNGDF to have its strategic lifter back into the air, they advised CFORCE PREP and Commander PNGDF that regardless of the aircraft state of unairworthiness, they can still operate the aircraft normally under " Special Flight Instructions " which is the military's equivalent of the civil aviation "Special Flight Permit " used for one off ferry flights for maintenance. The intent of those handful of Air Element pilots and Engineers to fool the Commander PNGDF and CFORCE PREP into buying their lies was to have the Casa P2-502 aircraft available for the PNG games in November 2017 so that they can make more dirty money. The Commander PNGDF sadly bought the bullshit. Although the CO ATW was supposed to execute the SFI, out of the most stupid wisdom, the Chief of Staff PNGDF was misled by his "Aviation Experts " into executing the SFI and in doing so, exposed the Commander PNGDF to the worst kind of risk in releasing an unairworthy aircraft into service.

The aircraft had bogus components fitted as we uncovered during our investigation. The reason we were forced to group the aircraft and called for 100 % Audit! There were components removed from a disposal container and refitted into the aircraft and the supply and procurement department had no records. This is the equivalent of removing the hip girdle from the skeleton of someone who died 25 years ago and replacing that of a sick patient in hospital needing a new hip girdle. Not even transplant from a live human.

In around September 2017 two senior PNGDF Casa pilots bullshited PNGDF into paying some K 300, 000 for flight simulator recency training for a few weeks in Spain. The alibi was for them to return and train other pilots on the Casa aircraft. ..hello?....we no longer train pilots of aircraft greater than 5700kg on the actual aircraft. We use the flight simulator. So that "training in Spain " was another broad daylight lie to the PNGDF hierarchy most of whom are infantryman and wouldn't understand.

As anticipated, came November 2017, the unairworthy aircraft was in the air operating under a worthless SFI and flying civilian passenger to and from Hoskins for the PNG games. They surely made some good money unaccounted for until to date. As revealed by team Oro, they paid the "pilots" K60,000. Imagine the sets of K60,000 they would have made using a public asset.
On 21 November 2017 shortly after departure from Hoskins for Nadzab, the same engine that failed earlier in Vanimo failed again. Without advising anyone, let alone civil aviation flight services Unit, the crew (same crew involved in the Vanimo incident) returned to Hoskins with only one engine operating. An Air Niugini F70 aircraft was also inbound to Hoskins around the same time. Air Niugini aircraft was unaware of the returning PNGDF Casa aircraft. Both aircraft were on collision course on final approach as the PNGDF Casa was attempting a non standard short cut approach by joining right base runway 12 whilst the Air Niugini F70 flew the normal circuit pattern and met with the Casa turning onto finals. The PNGDF Casa had to do a right hand orbit on Single engine on finals. The PNGDF Casa landed after the F70 and on the ground the same captain of the PNGDF Casa aircraft warned his crew not to report the incident, not enter the defect into the aircraft tech Log.
Review of the tech Log document for the said date confirmed that details of the defect was not entered for relevant maintenance action. This we believe was out of fear for being arrogant in insisting on flying an unairworthy aircraft.

The same clowns took the same unairworthy aircraft into Goroka and this time with their Commanding Officer on board landed on a closed runway under reconstruction. For reasons unbeknown, none of the 3 pilots consulted their Notams prior to flight or whilst inflight. This is outside the boundaries of reason and sanity.

Now after stuffing up the Casa aircraft, they are abandoning all due processes recommended to revive the Air Element and are trying to acquire the PAC 750 XSTOL with collusion of their friends in Air Sanga to operationalize an aircraft purchased by the state under PIP to serve the Rural Roll Out Program. This platform was never acquired for PNGDF Air Capability development. This is was an outcome of NEC Decision No 302/2013. You have screwed up a K30 Million state asset, leave the PAC 750 alone. This is a civil specification aircraft for operation in civil context to fulfill government intent and not to be given to Air Sanga to service ulterior intents.
The level of negligence is absolutely shocking. This matter will be pursued and those responsible and involved will be dealt with.

The pilots who have been abusing protocols and procedures by hijacking maintenance functions and performing roles of Director Technical Services Air in sourcing maintenance facilities especially in Indonesia, will have to explain to relevant authorities sooner or later, as to how the "C" Check service on the Casa aircraft cost K11 million, how the aircraft over stayed in Indonesia, how the aircraft returned with unfinished servicing, on what basis the maintenance facility was identified and where the remaining K 8 million balance of the K11 million is being kept.
Come on guys, cut out this sorts of lies. A five year old is more honest. We will get down to the bottom of this and some sorry ass must go to prison.
These was the kind of asset management tactics that crippled the military air capability to the point that it now cannot fulfill its constitutional roles in supporting PNGDF functions and Aid to civil power.

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