Cargo plane crash at the POhnpei International Airport

edited May 2008 in General
A cargo plane crashed on the runway of the Pohnpei International Airport around 5PM today, 16 May 2008. Apparently half of the plane ended up in the water and half on the runway itself.

I am hoping Bill Jaynes could report further on this......

Bill, we need you...WATCH THIS SPACE FOLKS...


  • OMG! Hope no fatality.
  • Yes Chelu,
    I hope and pray everyone on-board made it safely.
  • Hey lanya,
    sa we meet again no? Guess we both need to call home (Pohnpei met) if we don't get an update on this come next week:)
  • edited May 2008
    Just came from the airport now! (1800) there aren't any fatalities. But Aisha is correct the fuselage is in the water and the back tires are barely on the runway.

    This will be alot of work for Larry Adams and whoever will salvage this wreck. It'll take at least a week or so to remove it. If you have any scheduled plans to fly out on continental you should start considering cancellation..

    This is the second time APA has had this misfortune. FSM TC&I - FAA should put this airline under the microscope! What happens if the next time they do this they kill someone on the ground?
  • Everything is all good, do not worry. The plane is aged, it's time to recycle it.
  • any news on our U.S. MAIL? I just sent a bunch of letters yesterday from Guam.
  • I pray everything will be ok. no bad news lateron. please
  • All I know is that there were no injuries. Security would not let me on to the grounds of the airport. I have heard that there is a meeting in the morning at the airport but I'm not sure if I will be allowed access to the meeting. I have not been able to talk with anyone that can tell me whether or not there will be a disruption in service for Continental. My gut feeling is that there will be since the plane is just off the end of the runway. I can't imagine FAA allowing flights to take off on the runway while that situation exists. The photo we got seems to show that the front landing gear is broken and is in the water. The back wheels seem to be completely clear of the runway.

    The last plane crash on the runway occurred in March of 2001 and was the result of the pilot coming in too low and essentially shearing off its landing gear. This time, from my observation it appears that the pilot could not bring the plane to a stop in time.
  • BJ,

    Thank you for your swift reporting with much needed information of the incident regarding the unfortunate mishap of that cargo plane. Due to my limited knowledge, may I inquire what company is operating the plane? Hopefully, it is not operated by Continental. Otherwise, I will restore to sleeping pills when flying on their passenger planes.
  • Perhaps it is time to expand that airfield. The money should be coughed up and start working. It looks like it is too short. It is good there is no injuries better yet no one expired.
  • If I'm correct there is only one cargo plane that services Pohnpei on a regular basis. That is Asia Pacific Airlines owned and operated by the Tan family. The main purpose of APA is to export tuna out of the islands for their fleet of fishing vessels in the Micronesian waters. They also move cargo and mail as needed and contracted by Continental to do so. I believe they operate converted 727's. I was in Pohnpei when the first cargo plane mishap occured. I can't remember if that was an APA flight or if it was an NFC flight operated by Ryan International Airlines. Regardless, this is terrible news. All things considered this basically makes Pohnpei unreachable by any passenger aircraft until they can clear the runway. That is the problem with the single runway and minimum landing requirements in terms of length. The other mishap took long enough to remove and the entire plane was on the runway. I'm wondering how long it will take this time around with part of the aircraft in the water. Let's hope the airport disaster task force moves quickly. I'm sure Ieske and his group will do the best job they can given the resources they have to work with.
  • Above everything guys, I truly believe that the authorities should put this big problem into concideration. Second time this kind of accident has occured in the PIA. I believe this is all Continental and the authorities fault. They should allowed other airlines to start serving in FSM especially so that they could also help out on the cargos stock up in Hawaii or Guam delivery. Continental only cannot managed to delivered all the cargos coming from abroad on timely bases. Lets stop the old fasioned way and get started with the new system. There are many other airline companies that I believe could serve in FSM that even have better service than Continental only. Almost every year we faced the same problems over and over again which is delayed of flights, flight cannot accomudate passengers and lot more. We live to deserve a good living and why not live the same good way that other countries are having? I mean, when are we going to get out of these irritating problems and get on to our lives? Folks many of us really would like to travel but from the limitaiton of Continental Airline, nothing that can be accomplished. Lets wake up and seek what would be better for our future lifes and the future lifes our next generation. I believe that no one would want to receive a year delay things from their families or friends abroad huh. Lets see these unnecessaties and aknowledged our leaders that we elect to concidered it. When can we overcome these problems?
  • Accidents can happen at any given time whether it's human error, engine mulfunction, or mother nature. I'm just glad no live was lost during the crash. I don't think the blame should be on Continental, authorities or the run way not long enough given the cargo plane had landed there on occassions.......just a though, ok.
  • This morning I was with a relative leaving for Micronesia via Air Continental. While Marhallese, Chuukese and other non Micronesians were checking in, there were people sitting with lots of coolers/icechests, luggage and boxes. When I asked who these people were, they said, 'those are Pohnpeians, can't check in because the airfield in Pohnpei is not ready to receive any planes. If they do check in, they will go on to Chuuk for the plane will not land in Pohnpei."

    This is what I heard.
  • So did the Pohnpei fire truck rushed to the scene with still empty water tank? Lucky the aircraft did not catch fire.
  • Anean pwe amo nei we passport esop fiti turutiwen arre accidenin ena sepenin...met iei upwe ne fori ika nei we passport a fit nein ena taropwe rea chok changefetan won anenn pni? use pwal ngang ekieki ena accident, nei na chok passport ena u nichipung ren, nge chon pasiso me chon untengin ena sepenin use pwal fakkun care rer---ra kan fakkun ngaw pwe meni ra kan, kich aah, sipwe wechekielong non pni won ena kasoro mi fakkun short and bumby. amo uwa chok fen ngang nouni epitot money, moneien ena sepenin.....iwe met, repwe ne fetei ena kupun metaw? nge ifa iten ena cargo sepenin? met? e keleng fachanir ina ra accident? lol

    nge met repwe fori ngeni ena water tank, sise kan kunu akein sepenin ngeni water pwe esap tongeni kuun. it ufen nom pwe upwe chok wenen otofiti iwe a kununo.......where was LImotolong at the time of the crash? lol it must be her causing of the crash. that bech!!!
  • The run way is too short and narrow for those cargo planes.Imagine the continental we can feel the brake while sitting with our seatbelt on.The run way need more expand If FSM use the money wisely instead of useing it on wasted project. You all know what i mean.(priorities) Sorry for the miss spell ,too blind to see
  • Mike,

    Thanks for answering my query and very appreciative of it. You are right that stringent actions are a must to speed up the needed expansion of the runway to prevent future accidents due to the current condition of the airstrip. Fortunately, PNI has already had the necessary fundings on hand to accommodate such purpose.

    What remains is the cause of the accident. Since FAA policies have governed the islands' airfields, it should be time to ask for more assistances financially and technically to assist in the expansion construction. If possible at this juncture, the Management should look into the possibility of having an additional runway to also prevent temporary discontinuing of air services to our national capital.
  • Yeah, the plane looks a sorry sight from the channel. Unless there is some heavy equipment on island, it may be a tough job to move it out of the way. For everyone who couldn't get out in the water, seeing is believing: I made a picture for you all but it wouldn't paste in this blog. Can anyone help with advice to upload it?
  • By about four o clock this evening, Continental ground personnel already contacted passengers with reservations disrupted today by the incidence and most reservations have been re=booked and that the earliest flight out or into Pohnpei would be the night flight on Monday morning at o200am. Rumor has it that FAA agent had already drug-tested the pilot and his crew... and if their test proved possitive, then Guam crew would be flown in to dismantle the plane in pieces and trash them, as per FAA regulations. Some say it's faulty breaks and hydro system and others immediately claimed the pilot is being investigated.

    According to continental airline, all their passengers with disrupted flight have been re-booked. So, this is a good sign! Fortunately, no fatalities.
  • Accident description
    languages: Status: Preliminary
    Date: 11 MAR 2001
    Time: 17:37
    Type: Boeing 727-223F
    Operator: Express One International
    Registration: N701NE
    C/n / msn: 22459/1742
    First flight: 1981
    Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-15 (HK3)
    Crew: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
    Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
    Total: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
    Airplane damage: Written off
    Location: Pohnpei Airport (PNI) (Micronesia)
    Phase: Landing
    Nature: Cargo
    Departure airport: Majuro-Amata Kabua International Airport (MAJ/PKMJ), Marshall Islands
    Destination airport: Pohnpei Airport (PNI/PTPN), Micronesia
    The Boeing 727 freighter touched down short of the runway at Pohnpei. The right gear sheared off and left gear collapsed on striking the runway edge.
    The aircraft was later damaged beyond economical repair when it slipped off its jacks while it was being repaired following its landing short of the runway at Pohnpei.

    » Bill Harms
    » FAA
    » NTSB
  • Chops,

    Could you elaborate more on the seeming possibility of Continental resuming services while the plane has not been cleared from the runway? That's a risky attempt by Continental and it is doubtful that FAA should signal the green light whereas life of passenger would be in jeopardy.

    According to Jedi, the task of removing the plane is not that handy as it requires some heavy equipments to accomplish the work for removal of the plane and debris for security reason.
  • Onofek

    We received such phone call from Continental ground agent, tracking down one of our fella worker scheduled to depart for Yap, yesterday flight, bound for Guam, and the agent relayed message that our fella been rebooked for Sunday nite or Tuesday if he chooses to depart Tuesday. We asked about Sunday nite flight, they claimed they havent heard from Guam base for any change of Sunday night flight, meaning that by 4pm, May 17, 2008, flight for late Sunday night had not been cancelled. Contractor are working around the clock to remove the plane, according to one of our fella worker's cousin who is on the scene, supervising one component of the debris removal team. Things could change comes Sunday evening and the plane would still be obstructing the runway.
  • Just goes to shows that indeed Global Warming is making its presents in our island paradise. Although an extremely rare occurrence, this is clearly the case of the "Fart-Mixture" phenomenon. This occurs when hydrocarbon (methane) gases mixed with super-hot and water-saturated air thus creating an illusion false tar-mac, if you will. My source has been taking air samples around the site and there is an abnormal presents of methane in the area. Apparently, this gas has been seeping out from the near-by dump-site. Now, considering our fuel shortages, my suggestion is, we start collecting this Gas and put it to good use. Like the saying goes, "when God close the door, he opens a window." I know my brothers and good buddies Sounkoha Worok and Reject would think otherwise, claiming "Wrath of God" for economical reasons (more dough in the basket), forcefully beats their flocks into submission using scare-tactics, I am here to tell you, it's definitely Fart-Mixture!
  • RIMPAC; Is there a way for you to come in here without critizism? For you info. Pohnpei State Fire Division has nothing to do with the incident occrured in the PIA. As a matter of fact PPA has their own fire division ARFF and believe me they are alway ready to respond such incident and Pohnpei State fire division can only bace them up if they need them. I believe they are the only ones among all the airports in FSM that has well trained Firefighters. So, my friend, don't just look only on the negetive side only but also concidered the positive side. I truely believe that there will be no problem if the accident plane got into fire cause PIA ARFF is always ready to respond.

    If you really have problems with the Pohnpei State Fire Division, than, I suggest you see the governor and informed him about it cause maybe he would do something to improved the fire department in Pohnpei. I believe that this is a really important issue you brought here. We should concider this matter cause it is a matter of life and death situation.

    Thank you and you have a nice day.
  • If this is a foreign vessel then we don't need to worry about it---let them ppl whatever country that a/c belongs to have em come and clean their own air crash mess. OH, please BYOB lol
  • what cuased the acccident? were they Idefongcy in the cockpit?
  • edited May 2008
    "This is the second time APA has had this misfortune. FSM TC&I - FAA should put this airline under the microscope! What happens if the next time they do this they kill someone on the ground?"

    Presuming that this is pilot error--and maybe it's too early to tell--someone should be putting the FAA under the microscope instead. It could be a perfect example of the FAA's coziness with management of US airlines. Someone needs to check out the pilot's training records on this one. I heard the pilot of this airplane is also involved in the airline's management. Rumor has it that he failed numerous check rides and wasn't given final authority to operate until the airline politically badgered the higher-ups at the FAA into signing him off to fly--even in the face of strong recommendations by other inspectors that he was unqualified.

    The do-nothing lawyers at the FAA are people who couldn't get a job at a real law firm, so when faced with having to do battle with an airline's hired guns, they just cave in, give them what they want, and hope that nothing goes wrong later. In this case, maybe it will come back to bite them. Unfortunately, the island is now shut in until they open the airport back up. Perhaps the FAA's inability to stand up to corporate America needs to be examined. Their spin machine has been on high for the last few months due to their unwillingness to carry out their federally-mandated safety oversight function. Carriers like APA seem to be able to operate with marginal FAA oversight. When the heat does get to be too much, they simply shut down and the FAA lets them start up under new name with a clean slate.
  • folks,

    anyone, anybody, someone, or somebody out there who has any photos on this incident? please share them here. please, please, kaselehlia press, where r u? share your pix, if u have?
This discussion has been closed.