A school charter flight has made an emergency landing on a road on Moa Island in the Torres Strait.

The twin-engine Pilatus Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft developed engine problems during a flight to Horn Island on Monday.

Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) mayor, Phillemon Mosby, said the pilot and passengers are safe.

"Issues like this are very difficult for families involved and community.

“We are very grateful that we have received no indications that there have been any injuries.”


Mr Mosby thanked Council staff, Queensland Health workers, the SES, and police who were involved in the recovery effort.

TSIRC CEO, James Williams, said Moa Island residents should not touch or move the aircraft while an investigation is pending.


All authorities are aware of the incident and Council is working cooperatively with all agencies.

“We will continue to provide any and all requested assistance.”

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has commenced a transport safety investigation into the forced landing.

The ATSB said the aircraft was operating a charter service with a pilot and eight passengers on board when both engines failed during the cruise phase of the flight,

The pilot diverted towards Kubin Airport on Moa Island and conducted an off-airport landing west of the airport. The pilot and passengers sustained minor injuries.

In a statement, the ATSB said a final report, detailing contributing factors and any identified safety issues, will be released at the conclusion of its  investigation.

Torres Strait Air CEO, Daniel Takai, confirmed his company operated the charter flight.

"The passengers onboard the aircraft followed the pilot's instructions to brace for landing and to evacuate the aircraft after the emergency landing.

"Our thoughts go out to those persons onboard the aircraft, all their families, and all our people affected by this aircraft incident.".


Main points

  • School charter flight made emergency landing on a road
  • Aircraft developed engine problems on flight to Horn Island
  • TSIRC says no reports of injuries
The aircraft involved has sustained significant damage.
James Williams