Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Unanswered questions surround death of pilot

Unanswered questions surround death of Chris Kaines

Several unanswered questions surround the death of pilot Chris Kaines, from Gassam village on Siassi Island, Morobe province, who died in a mysterious Cessna 206 plane crash in the mountains of Myola, along the Kokoda Trail, on Thursday, August 7, this year, on the way to Yongai in Goilala.

Local Myola villagers may now hold the key to this plane crash which has been shrouded in mystery until Kaines’s body was taken home to his beloved Siassi Island last week.

There are several unanswered questions as to the flight plan given to the Civil Aviation Authority, the air worthiness of the Cessna, why the operator has disappeared since the death of Kaines, is there any truth that he was carrying mercury and a large amount of money when he crashed, and many more, including questions on the involvement of certain groups and individuals.

Reporters probing the crash been hitting a brick wall at CAA when trying to get information on the crash.

Kaines was a very experienced aviator, whose feats are the stuff of legend, including busting gun smuggling operations in Western province with police, once landing on the Hiritano Highway when his engine failed, who in 2006 year flew a private plane from the USA to PNG, and whose ambition in life was to buy his own plane and run a charter operation.

The procedure for a flight plan is:
· Each aircraft prior to departure to a destination needs to produce a flight
plan to flight services of the Civil Aviation Agency for approval.
· The flight plan states the flight, pilot, and all relevant details like
· The control tower is responsible for clearing the aircraft for take off and monitors its flight to and from its destination.
· If the aircraft fails to report, the tower raises the alarm and Civil Aviation
organises the rescue.

In the case of Kaines:

. He himself did not produce the flight plan but somebody may have and deliberately changed details so as to have Civil Aviation approve the flight.
. The aircraft used was one that was used by trainee pilots.
. The operator (named) did have an airworthy certificate issued against the particular aircraft.
. It was to train pilots in so whoever produced the flight plan stated himself as the flight instructor and Kaines as trainee in order to get approval.
. No aircraft and pilot under instruction is authorised to carry passenger and cargo.

“(Named operator) was to have flown the aircraft himself as per the flight plan,” a source told me.

“His name may have appeared as the pilot but let Chris (Kaines) on this flight alone.

“That is why when the aircraft crashed, information out of Civil Aviation stated that the aircraft had as flight instructor an expatriate and a PNG trainee pilot.

“Chris spells his name as Chris Kaines, which is very foreign indeed

“”But (named operator) never took that flight and according to the flight plan he was supposed to do so.

“We learnt this from Chris’s wife”

“The bottom line is that (named operator) deceived Chris and deliberately misled Civil Aviation into approving the flight plan and get clearance to make the flight.

“We now know Chris had already made several flights into the area before the crash.

“On the one before the crash, he reported a faulty radio.

“This was brought to the attention of a particular engineer with Heavy Lift who questioned this aircraft to which he was to install the radio.

“When he did he was told it was the one sitting at Nadzab because of some legal complication.

“But than he was also told that it belonged to Northwest Air.

The source said several questions arose including:
. How close was the operator to Kaines?
. What was the arrangement between the two men?
. How much did Kaine’s wife know of this arrangement?
. Was there money involved or a commitment made?
. What was the cargo?
. How many previous flights to the area?
. Who in Civil Aviation knew of this flight and yet approved the flight plan?
. Why did the operator mislead Civil Aviation in stating that it was a training flight?
. Was the rescue authorised by CAA or did the operator take it upon himself to carry out the rescue?
. Why did the crash occur at 11am and the wife was told at midnight?
. What is the interest of police and did CAA authorize police into the rescue operation?
. Why the special attention of police in the crash of this aircraft??
. Why was the pilot’s body not retrieved?
. When Airlines PNG flew into Maiola to take Kaine’s body, police also accompanied that flight. Why?

“Chris (Kaines) became State property but Civil Aviation gave all of us the run around,” the source said.

“No funds to send him to Sydney and even up until the final hour, funds were not available to release the body.

“(Named operator) has suddenly gone into hiding.”

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