Mystery remains around the identity of the pilot of a small plane which crashed near Papua New Guinea’s capital on Sunday.

The Accident Investigation Commission was alerted to the activation of an emergency signal about thirty kilometres west of Port Moresby on Sunday.

Investigation teams reached the area of the distress signal on Monday, finding the partly burnt wreckage of a Cessna twin engine aircraft.

According to the Commission’s Investigations Manager, Winston San Martin, no person was found with the wreckage.

“We have not yet identified who was the pilot of this aircraft, and the eventual presence of any other occupants in the aircraft, So that’s something that’s still undergoing in our investigation.”

Martin said the commission’s investigations would seek to determine how the plane crashed or landed.

The Commission is expected to issue a preliminary report about the incident within a month.

Aviation authorities had not been aware of the aircraft before the emergency signal, as it was not cleared to fly in PNG.

Furthermore, Martin said the ownership of the aircraft was not yet clear.

“Because we need to investigate some things to explain the circumstances surrounding the occurrence, and those circumstances will also tell us how the aircraft came from Australia, if that’s required, and some particulars about the ownership and operation of the aircraft.”

The ABC has reported that PNG police believe the pilot was Australian, with a tracker app showing he’d flown from Queensland that day.

It cites police sources saying that traces of cocaine were detected onboard the plane.


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