The fatal crash of a de Havilland Twin Otter in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in July 1995 has been attributed to leakage of kerosene carried in passenger baggage in the aircraft's aft hold, probably ignited by faulty or age-deteriorated electrical wiring.

The aircraft crashed shortly after take-off when the electrical system was lost, following an explosion and fire. All 22 people on board, including the pilot, died in the accident.

An Australian Bureau of Air Safety Investigation suggests that the fire's source was the terminal board between the inverters and the control relay. PNG investigators say that the practice of passengers concealing kerosene and other fuels in baggage is "-well known in PNG and detection is difficult".

The inquiry also recommends that the Office of Civil Aviation review its policy on allowing single pilots to crew scheduled passenger flights in Twin Otters and other aircraft in their category.

Source: Flight International