Pilots of an Air Vanuatu ATR 72-500 were unable to steer or brake the turboprop before it crashed into a pair of Britten Norman Islanders during a runway excursion on landing at Port Vila.

Papua New Guinea investigators state that the crew had declared an emergency about 20min before the landing, after shutting down the failed starboard engine.

Preliminary findings from the inquiry reveal that the pilots cited flight-control “abnormalities”, including uncommanded rolls, during the approach.

As the ATR touched down it veered off the runway 29 to the left, travelling around 450m towards hangar facilities.

It collided with two Islanders, damaging the fin and rudder of operator Air Taxi’s VJ-AL2 before the ATR’s right-hand landing-gear rode over and destroyed the forward fuselage of Unity Airlines’ VJ-OO9, shearing its fin. Neither Islander was occupied.

“The [ATR captain] stated that they had no nose-wheel steering or brakes and they were powerless to stop the aircraft,” says the inquiry.

Flight Fleets Analyzer lists the Unity Islander as having been written off while the Air Taxi aircraft is undergoing repair.

None of the ATR’s occupants – comprising 39 passengers and four crew members – was injured, but the turboprop sustained significant damage to its starboard propeller, nacelle and right-hand main landing-gear.

Engineers carried out a borescope inspection of the failed Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M engine and subsequently removed it from the aircraft for transport and examination in Montreal.

Source: Cirium Dashboard