There are many reasons we see airlines get into a situation where they have to write off a plane. The worst case scenario is that the plane has a major accident with passengers onboard. Other times there are instances where the plane has an accident on the ground without any passengers onboard.
And then you have this situation that occurred in Papua New Guinea today, which sure doesn’t happen often. Protestors in the town of Mendi torched a Dash 8 operated by Link PNG, a subsidiary of Air Niugini. The plane in question had the tail number P2-ANX, and started flying in 1997. Fortunately no one was onboard the plane when this happened.
The crazy thing is that the police were guarding the plane while all of this happened. According to RNZ:
Earlier the local police station commander Gideon Kauke had said police were guarding the aircraft to ensure there was no further damage after its tyres had been flattened.
But he said his team of about ten police couldn’t contain a mob of uncountable numbers, particularly after missiles were thrown, forcing them to retreat; “we were guarding the plane but compared to them we were outnumbered and they came in all directions, all corners. Missiles were thrown, bush knives were thrown.”
Mr Kauke said some of the protestors, who continue to behave menacingly in Mendi as their numbers build up, were carrying guns.
These protests were in response to a controversial political court ruling, with protestors alleging that there was foul play.
Air Niugini has been at the top of the list of airlines I want to fly, and I still hope to fly them through Port Moresby soon, enroute from Hong Kong or Singapore to Australia.
I’ve gotta be honest, prior to a few weeks ago, I wasn’t fully aware of just how dangerous Papua New Guinea is. Originally I had considered actually spending some time there because visiting Papua New Guinea sounds like it would be interesting, and at least in this part of the world you don’t often hear about the problems there. Once I found out how dangerous it apparently it is, I spent several hours reading articles about the things that have happened there.
Unrelated and totally insignificant, but doesn’t the Airways Hotel at Port Moresby Airport look pretty awesome for an avgeek?