Pel-Air aviation careflight jet ditches off Norfolk Island

Four passengers and two flight crew survived as their Westwind Jet operated by Pel-Air was forced to ditch off the coast of Norfolk Island.

The jet was on a flight from Samoa to Melbourne with one patient onboard. It attempted to land at Norfolk Island for a routing refuelling stop but was unable to land due to stress of weather.

The aircraft then reportedly made a forced landing on water at night as its fuel stocks were exhausted.

The six occupants of the aircraft then evacuated the aircraft safely wearing life jackets and signalled to the shore to be rescued.

The patient is due to continue their flight to the Australian mainland shortly.

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  1. Why did an aircraft with a range of 2,750nm ditch in the sea after flying only 1,471nm? The nearest alternate airport would be Noumea, only 436nm away. That means the aircraft had potentially 843nm range spare. Why were only three occupants wearing life vests when the aircraft is licenced to carry seven passengers over water? Where were the other life jackets? This pilot is NOT a hero, he is incompetent.

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