An electrical system fault is the most likely cause of a cockpit fire which caused a light plane to crash in Kununurra killing the passenger and seriously injuring the pilot, an Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation has concluded. Nurse, Johnson Makuei Mangar died after the Beechcraft Baron 58 charter plane he was a passenger in crashed while trying to land at Kununurra airport on April 16 last year. He died at the scene, while a 29-year-old male Aviair pilot was flown to Royal Darwin Hospital with severe injuries and burns. The ATSB released its final report into the crash this week concluding a landing gear electrical system fault likely ignited fuel from the cabin heater supply line causing the cockpit fire. “The fire ignited in the Baron’s cockpit during its approach to land at Kununurra’s East Kimberley Regional Airport,” a release on the report stated. “Despite expending the contents of a portable fire extinguisher, the fire quickly filled the cockpit with flames and thick smoke, preventing the pilot from effectively seeing external visual references or the aircraft’s instruments.” Blinded by smoke and with his skin burning from the fire the pilot lost control of the plane and crashed. “The aircraft subsequently diverged from the runway centreline track and collided with the ground, coming to rest inverted about 600 metres beyond the Ord River and about 800 m from the Kununurra runway threshold. “After the impact, the seriously injured pilot managed to extract themselves and the sole passenger out of the wreckage before it was destroyed by fire. Unfortunately, the passenger succumbed to their injuries.” Mr Mangar had been a registered nurse for 15 years. He was a member of the tight-knit WA Sudanese community and the secretary of an African church. He left behind a young family. ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said the fuel line to the aircraft’s cabin heater passed through the area where the pilot reported the fire started. “The fire coincided with multiple unusual indications and a burning smell as the pilot attempted to extend the landing gear.” There have been four other occurrences in Australia and the United States involving in-flight fires in Baron aircraft. Damaged wiring was identified as a likely factor in three of those cases. Following the crash ATSB issued a Safety Advisory Notice to operators of the Beechcraft Baron advising them to inspect their plane’s heater fuel line to make sure wiring is not rubbing or chafing against it.