ANSWERS FOR PRIME MINISTER ON LEALEA PLANE CRASH
The flight left Mareeba & was tracked by the Aussies all the way to final impact. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot turned off transponders etc mistakenly believing this would make him blind to radar tracking. (a lesson learnt from the MH70 fiasco!)
The strip at LeaLea is an old disused/abandoned strip but still marked on older and better navigational maps as such. The ever-helpful villagers had cleared it just enough for this flight.
The plane landed, loaded the drugs (assumed?) and again thanks to the villagers, was refuelled – the empty avgas drums were on-site, probably still are? This caused much comment as it should have had more than enough fuel on board for a return to Mareeba – if that’s where it was going. If full fuel load when it left Mareeba, flying time would have been about 7hours, more than enough to get back.
The plane crashed on takeoff – it made it high enough to be picked up on radar but then went down. Most likely cause according to assembled pilots was a dramatic load shift/single-engine failure/or simply overloaded?
It appears there was a small fire in the port engine when she went down.
Now where it gets “murky” and the table of knowledge erupted in amazement! –
The police are reported to have attended the site early Monday – BULLSHIT! They were there when it happened. Four of our Boroko fishing club members were at Lealea packing up ready to leave when it happened. To everyone's surprise, they were held at gunpoint by armed Police for just on an hour and prevented from “rendering assistance” and /or leaving the boat ramp.
But still visible where the rest of the cops doing their best to set fire to the plane wreckage and the cargo. In this, they largely succeeded, particularly the cargo of which we are told nothing remained intact.
There was and still is no sign of the pilot but bloodstains on the planes steering wheel/instrument panel would indicate he must have got a nasty bump on the head on impact – maybe those helpful villagers are helping out again?! Pilot is rumoured to be one Rob Lonergen, had been here for years with SDA mission, Hevilift.
So there you have it. All the PM’s questions and ravings – refer today National – answered & done!