8 Jul 2012

Two men missing after PNG chopper crash named

8:56 pm on 8 July 2012

The names of two of the three people missing aboard a helicopter in Papua New Guinea have been released.

They are New Zealander Captain Antony Annan, 49, and Australian Captain Russell Aitken, 42.

The family of the third missing man, an Australian, have requested his name not be released.

The men work for the aviation charter company, Hevilift, and their helicopter went missing in dense fog in the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea on Friday.

The Bell 206 helicopter vanished near Mt Hagen, shortly after leaving a drilling rig belonging to the oil and gas company Inter Oil.

Mt Hagen is a mountainous region of PNG which has densely forested valleys.

A Hevilift spokesperson says neither the helicopter nor the missing crew were located during Sunday's search.

He says the search is following a grid pattern to ensure no areas are missed.

The search will resume at first light on Monday morning.