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Plane Missing In Png


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#16 Geoff Hardie

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 09:43 PM

Arising out of this tragedy and in an ideal world it would be great to think that the views of Kokodanut in an earlier post could come about. i.e. Upgrade of Kokoda Airstrip to allow the larger aircraft, a Dash 8, to service the route Port Moresby to Kokoda.

My Kokoda Trek experience involved a flight in a Dash 8, Port Moresby to Popondetta and vehicular transfer to Kokoda to commence Trek.  Following the cyclone in Nov 2007 and the destruction of all the bridges, of course this route is currently not  possible.

Apart from the sad and unfortunate  personal losses, I am sure this tragedy will serve to reinforce the allure of Kokoda and what it all means to Australians with resultant continued growth for all Trekking companies and PNG Tourism in general.
Perhaps then, an upgrade of Kokoda Airstrip may occur sooner rather than later.

Geoff Hardie

#17 jafa

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 11:28 PM

QUOTE(jltheage @ 12 Aug 2009, 02:35 PM) View Post
Hello,

I am a journalist with The Age and am interested in people's views on this plane crash. As Mrs Moo said (who seems to be an experienced trekker) is this occurance just a rarity that shouldn't put people off trekking?

Are people planning on trekking in the future concerned about their safety now?


I trekked about 2 years ago and to be honest I had no problems with the flight. We trekked to Kokoda and flew out so we where traveling in the other direction. The whole experience could best be described as professional and I was a little dismayed to listen to an account yesterday on the radio of a recent trekker that very much rubbished the flight they where on. I felt it gave a distorted view of the reality.

Next year I am doing a Nepal trek and they fly Twin Otters as well. I have no real reservations - they are a good plane that only have an elevated crash record because they spend so much time flying in some of the more obscure parts of the world such is their versatility.



#18 Natalieae

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 03:11 PM

I am going to start the Kokoda trail on Tuesday as part of the Kokoda Youth Challenge run by the RSL clubs of NSW. We are no longer catching a charter plane from Port Morsbey to Kokoda, we are taking one of the regular daily Air Nugini commercial flights to Popondetta and then catching a bus to Kokoda to start the trek. I was very scared and hestitant of going after this crash, but since our travel details have been changed, im much relived.

My condolences to those lives lost in this crash.

Editors Note: There are no buses to take you up to Kokoda.  What you will more then likely travel on is what we refer to as a PMV (Public Motor Vehicle), ie a truck with seats in the back much like our own truck, pic below.  You will also have to get across Kumusi River on a tyre tube which might be a lot of fun but I wonder how much safer then catching a plane.  I stand corrected if in fact these days they are driving buses up to where the bridge has been washed out at Kumusi River but I doubt it.

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#19 Brian

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 03:51 PM

Hi Natalieae

Bus? What Bus?

I was not aware of any bus running from Popondetta and as far as I am aware there are still no bridges across the river.

I would not let the tragic recent crash put you off flying specially when you consider the hundreds of flights there each year carryng trekkers along with locals in and out of Kokoda.

I agree the recent accident was most tragic and one that all of the "Kokoda Trekking Family" are feeling saddened about.

Considering the number of flights there every year and for the many years trekking has taken place there I am personally not aware of a similar tragic accident actually far safer there than driving here on our roads where in Queensland alone we have lost 250 in accidents so far this year and I do not see people stop driving thier cars often recklessly.

I am hoping to be flying both in and out of Kokoda together with my 9 year old grandson during 2010 and have no fear and all faith in the pilots taking us in. I will though most certainly only do so in good weather.

My condolences have been expressed else where in this forum

Brian

#20 alfwo2

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 05:26 PM

Hi Guys.  Having trekked myself in 2007 The experience learned was invaluable.

The feeling at the end of the track cannot be described.  I felt honoured to have walked in the footsteps of so many young aussies.

I feel for the families and friends of those who died in this accident.   But would say to those who are still looking at walking the "Bloody Track"  Go for it.

The experience reallyis life changing.

To all at KTL,  my thoughts and best wishes go out to you all.

#21 Geoff Hardie

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 07:24 PM

I note the just announced response to the tragedy by Charlie Lynn of Adventure Kokoda, a NSW parlimentarian and very experienced Kokoda tour operator of approx 20 years.

In the past I have made it known that I do  not  agree with the large numbers his organisation often include on many of his individual treks, often in excess of 100 including porters etc.

On his just announced response I totally agree with his thoughts that the Australian Government must step in and provide grants to enable the upgrade of Kokoda airstrip to accommodate the larger Dash 8 aircraft. We owe this to the PNG people and all our fellow Australains persuing their dream of walking the Track and in doing so acknowledging the sacrificies of our World War 2 Soldiers who in no small way were responsible for the prosperous Country we enjoy today.

There is no doubt, given the terrain and the climate conditions occuring between Port Moresby and Kokoda, current air transport arrangements. regretfully, will always be hazardous.

Geoff Hardie

#22 Waza

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:38 PM

Dear Fluppy

I can only agree with Mrs Moo and Brian with their thoughts on your concerns about perhaps not going. As most have said, the accident tragic as it is, is a rarity but never the less, possibly the flight INTO Kokoda is the part of the trip where there is more concern than the trek itself. Flying OUT of Kokoda is possible an alternative for you Fluppy, ie walk from Moresby to Kokoda and fly back.

I certainly hope to return to PNG and walk the Track again (although I'm running out of years) and have considered a double walk, to kokoda and back again.

Talk with Gail about your trip Fluppy and I wish you well with your venture and will keep an eye out for your progress.

Kind regards

Warren (Waza)
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#23 Waza

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:45 PM

Hi Natalieae

Good luck with your Trek commencing next Tuesday and I commend you on your involvement with the RSL Youth Club and your willingness to participate in what I really believe will be a life changing experience for you. My Dad used to be President of the Port Moresby RSL Club many years ago and partook in the 25th Anniversary Commeration of the Kokoda Track in 1967.

Best wishes and you will be safe on the Trek don't worry and the people of the Oro Province will certainly look after you.

Warren
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#24 Waza

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:56 PM

Hi jltheage

Personally I believe that the majority of Australians who have a desire to walk this famous part of Australian history will not wane due to this unfortunate and tragic accident.

As mentioned by a number of other respondents in this Forum, the number of flights and people who have been flown in and out of Kokoda in addition to the hundreds of other flights in and out of hundreds of little and difficult airstrips throughout PNG are quite large and just highlights that this terrible is an unfortunate accident and a rarity.

I have already expressed my condolences in another section of Gail's website.

best regards

Warren
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#25 peterh13

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:13 AM

QUOTE(Geoff Hardie @ 13 Aug 2009, 07:24 PM) View Post
I note the just announced response to the tragedy by Charlie Lynn of Adventure Kokoda, a NSW parlimentarian and very experienced Kokoda tour operator of approx 20 years.

In the past I have made it known that I do  not  agree with the large numbers his organisation often include on many of his individual treks, often in excess of 100 including porters etc.

On his just announced response I totally agree with his thoughts that the Australian Government must step in and provide grants to enable the upgrade of Kokoda airstrip to accommodate the larger Dash 8 aircraft. We owe this to the PNG people and all our fellow Australains persuing their dream of walking the Track and in doing so acknowledging the sacrificies of our World War 2 Soldiers who in no small way were responsible for the prosperous Country we enjoy today.

There is no doubt, given the terrain and the climate conditions occuring between Port Moresby and Kokoda, current air transport arrangements. regretfully, will always be hazardous.

Geoff Hardie


Hi Geoff.
I met Charlie on the track about 3 1/2 weeks ago,,he was leading a group of about 60, plus porters etc they were stretched out for miles..what you say is quite right.

Prepare for the worst and dare the good Lord to dissapoint you.

Non semper erit aestas.

#26 Lorna

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 09:27 AM

Hi Natalieae,

I've been back from Kokda now for about 6 weeks. It was a fabulous experience, one that I hope to repeat with my kids some day. Having recently been there I feel absolutely devastated with the events of this week and feel so much for the families and loved ones of the 13 killed.

Just wanted to tell you I flew into Popondetta and then took a PMV to Kokoda. It was a brilliant way to start the trek as we got to see a little more of PNG. The Kumusi river was not the least bit dangerous to cross in tyre tubes..... and a hell of a lot of fun. I also enjoyed the PMV trip, even though we were packed in like sardines and got bogged a couple of times. It all added to the adventure most definitely. We had the opportunity to talk with our guides and porters and basically begin the friendship that then developed further whilst we were trekking.

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#27 Geoff Hardie

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:43 AM

Hi Natalieae,

I agree with Lorna, the PMV trip Popondetta to Kokoda is excellent. albeit that for 2-3 hrs, travel in the PMV is a little uncomfortable. It gives you an additional view of village life in PNG compared with Port Moresby and the more primative perspective you will experience along the Track. The spectacular countryside along the road is an additional bonus.
The delay in bridge reconstructions, now nearly two years after the cyclone is disappointing but not surprising. We must recognise, we very much have  a third world country on our doorstep and infrastructure we take for granted in Australia, is much much more difficult in PNG for a variety of reasons.

I do hope your trip can proceed and the river crossing is not to hazardous. I am certain you will enjoy every minute of the experience.

Best wishes,

Geoff Hardie

#28 Markatkin

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 12:05 PM

Gail, yesterday we spoke on the phone about Kingsley and the appalling plane crash.  Thank you for taking time to talk to me at such a terrible time and for offering to pass on a message to Grace (written below).    

Dear Grace, when we last spoke on the phone, the terrible, tragic news about Kingsley had not been confirmed.  On behalf of my partner Louise, my mother Rosemary and my family, I want you to know that we are all deeply saddened by Kingsley's passing and by your loss.  Our thoughts and love go out to you, Russell and the family.  

Sincerely, Mark Atkin

#29 Eve

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 10:22 AM

Just a quick note on the size of Charlie's treks. The reason they can be large, is that they run some of the treks at 'platoon size', to give an idea of the number of people at the battles, as the treks are based on military history and follow the original wartime track (which separates from the main track in places) and military briefings are conducted at each battle site. Not everyone's cup of tea, but it is for those of us with a serious interest in military history.

Our group was 25 people, including trek leaders, plus guides, cooks, and boys to set up our tents etc. About 80 people altogether. However, for most of the trek, I was actually walking by myself (my preference), with my fabulous guide and maybe one or two others. It didn't feel crowded at all - even at camp with so many people. I was concerned at first over the number in our group, because I didn't want that 'crowded' feeling, but I didn't feel that way at any time and have now changed my mind on the size of the groups they have.

Eve

#30 Geoff Hardie

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:24 PM

Hi Eve,

I will always commend Charlie Lynn's Adventure Kokoda for their emphasis on informing their trekkers of the military history of the Track and thereby drawing attention to the sacrifices made by our WW2 diggers on the Kokoda Track, including my own father.
My concern with the large numbers on his treks is purely about the pressure they put on available pit toilets at the Camp sites along the Track. Our group of 21 experienced this aspect when we were joined at one campsite for the night by one of his groups of 100+.
I am not convinced "Platoon size" groups are necessary to create the feel of military history though.
I have noted that the Kokoda Track Authority, notwithstanding its past inadequacies, now have the same concerns.

Kind regards

Geoff Hardie




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