Missionary aircraft crashes in Papua New Guinea

By February 24, 2005

Papua New Guinea (MNN) — Two missionary pilots were killed this week after their Twin Otter aircraft went down in Papua New Guinea. The crash happened Tuesday afternoon local time involving a Mission Aviation Fellowship aircraft.

According to MAF-Australia, the cabin attendant and ten passengers were only slightly injured, but the pilots Chris Hansen and Richard West, both New Zealanders, were killed. The plane crashed in the circuit area of Wobegon airstrip, near Tabubil in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Hansen is survived by his wife and three children, while West leaves his wife and two children. The families of the flight crew will be flown to Mt. Hagen for support and a memorial service. Debriefing and counseling is being arranged for staff.

The cause of the crash has not been released as the investigation is just getting under way.

A helicopter and various MAF aircraft were dispatched to the accident site and a clinic was set up at Agali with doctors flown in by MAF. The cabin attendant and one passenger were later flown to Tabubil Hospital for observation.

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