The Boeing 737-800 operated by Air Niugini took off from Pohnpei, Micronesia, for passenger flight to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, with an en-route stop at Chuuk, Micronesia. 35 passengers and 12 crewmembers were onboard. The plane was on final approach to Chuuk International Airport in poor weather when the aircraft came too low and touched down into the sea. The aircraft was evacuated, 46 passengers and crew were able to leave the aircraft. Some people were injured, a few seriously, but there is no critical injury. 1 passenger was killed.
“I thought we landed hard until I looked over and saw a hole in the side of the plane and water was coming in” said a passenger onboard. Weather conditions were poor, with high rain and low visibility. Cumulonimbus clouds were moving to the southwest at around 1000 feet over the airport. The plane came too low on the final approach, touched down into the sea and came to a stop about 150 meters left abeam of runway threshold. The fuselage remained in one piece while the plane was skidding, which contributed to the survivability of the accident.
The plane floated a few minutes. Help arrived rapidly from a flotilla of local boats that rushed to the plane and evacuated 46 occupants stranded aboard the aircraft. The body of the missing passenger was found by divers 3 days later.