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Auckland Council

Crash of a Partenavia P.68B in North Shore

Date & Time: Jul 20, 2001 at 0459 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-DMA
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Auckland-Whangarei
MSN:
68
YOM:
1976
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
706
Captain / Total hours on type:
200.00
Aircraft flight hours:
4773
Circumstances:
On Friday 20 July 2001, at around 0450, Partenavia P68B ZK-DMA was abeam North Shore Aerodrome at 5000 feet in darkness and enroute to Whangarei, when it suffered a double engine power loss. The pilot made an emergency landing on runway 21 at North Shore Aerodrome, but the aircraft overran the end of the runway, went through a fence, crossed a road and stopped in another fence. The pilot was the only person on board the aircraft and received face and ankle injuries. The aircraft encountered meteorological conditions conducive to engine intake icing, and ice, hail or sleet probably blocked the engine air intakes. The pilot had probably developed a mindset that dismissed icing as a cause, and consequently omitted to use alternate engine intake air, which should have restored engine power.
Probable cause:
The following findings were identified:
- The pilot was suitably qualified and authorised to conduct the flight.
- The aircraft was airworthy and its records indicated it had been maintained correctly.
- The aircraft encountered weather conditions conducive to the formation of engine intake icing.
- The engine air intakes probably became blocked by sleet, ice or hail, which caused both engines to lose power.
- The pilot probably developed a mindset that dismissed engine intake icing as a cause of the double engine power loss and omitted to apply the necessary corrective action.
- Had the pilot selected each engine’s alternate engine intake air on, engine power should have been restored.
- The Partenavia P68B flight manual warning concerning the use of alternate engine intake air should be amended to require the in-flight use of alternate air at ambient temperatures above freezing, in a high-humidity environment.
Final Report:

Crash of a Convair CV-580 in Auckland: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jul 31, 1989 at 2200 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-FTB
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Palmerston North – Auckland – Christchurch
MSN:
180
YOM:
1968
Flight number:
AFZ001
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
3760
Captain / Total hours on type:
140.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1086
Copilot / Total hours on type:
6
Aircraft flight hours:
29999
Circumstances:
Flight Air Freight 1 was a scheduled night freight flight between Palmerston North, Auckland and Christchurch. The crew consisted of a training captain and two new co-pilots who were to fly alternate legs as co-pilot and observer. The co-pilot’s ADI of the Convair CV-580 in question had a known intermittent defect, but had been retained in service. The aircraft’s MEL however did not permit this flight to be undertaken with an unserviceable ADI. The aircraft nevertheless departed Palmerston North and arrived at Auckland at about 20:30. It was unloaded and reloaded with 11 pallets of cargo. On the next leg, to Christchurch, the handling pilot was to be the other co-pilot. Although she had completed her type rating on the Convair 580 this was her first line flight as a crew member. The flight was cleared to taxi to runway 23 for departure. Takeoff was commenced at 21:59. The aircraft climbed to a height of approx. 400 feet when it pitched down. It entered a gradual descent until it contacted the ground 387 m beyond the end of runway 23 and 91 m left of the extended centreline. The aircraft then crashed and broke up in the tidal waters of Manukau Harbour. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and all three crew members were killed.
Probable cause:
The probable cause of this accident was the training captain’s failure to monitor the aircraft’s climb flightpath during the critical stage of the climb after take-off.
Final Report:

Crash of a Fletcher FU-24-950M near Matakana: 1 killed

Date & Time: May 6, 1987 at 1453 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-CBI
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
88
YOM:
1962
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
An aerial topdressing operation was being undertaken from a sloping airstrip located on a headland near Matakana. The fertilizer to be applied was granulated superphosphate totaling 60 tonnes. The aircraft arrived at the airstrip and while waiting for the loader to arrive the pilot walked the length of the runway, then requested that the farmer cut down some saplings at the end of the strip that might obstruct his climb out path. Upon arrival of the loader the pilot instructed the driver to place 18 hundredweight (cwt) or 915 kgs of fertilizer in the aircraft. This was done, along with the addition of some fuel, and the first flight of the operation commenced. The driver did not observe the take off but while reloading his vehicle at the bin noticed a cloud of fertilizer dust off the end of the strip, indicating that the pilot had jettisoned the load. A few minutes later the driver sighted the aircraft briefly through a gap in the trees. It was flying, apparently normally, at about sowing height and on a reciprocal course to the take off direction. A faint trail of fertilizer was coming from the hopper. The plane then disappeared behind some trees and the driver did not see it again. Just after losing sight of the aircraft he saw what seemed to be a piece of red paper fluttering to the ground. When the aircraft failed to land a search was made and the wreckage of ZK-CBI was found in dense scrub about 350 metres to the left of the departure end of the airstrip. The pilot, sole on board, was killed. The investigator found that the pilot had initiated jettisoning the load 36 metres before the boundary fence. It was not clear whether the plane was still on the ground or was airborne at a low speed when a collision with the concrete post and wire fence occurred. Two posts had almost completely severed both halves of the " all flying " tailplane or stabilator. The outboard left hand section was retained by the trim tab only. The outboard part of the right hand side of the stabilator later detached and was found 150 metres from the crash site. With this degree of damage to the tailplane horizontal control must have been difficult, but the pilot was able to clear a low ridge ahead and fly out over a large basin where a 180 degree turn was completed in order to land back on the airstrip. Before the approach could be completed however, the outer part of the RH side of the stabilator separated and the aircraft dived steeply to the ground. The aircraft was destroyed by the severe impact. Fire did not break out. This was not a survivable crash.
Probable cause:
The probable cause of this accident was that the pilot did not initiate the jettisoning of the load in time to restore the take off performance which had been degraded by the kikuyu grass on the airstrip. The following findings were reported:
- The aircraft was loaded within approved limits.
- Kikuyu grass growing on the airstrip caused a significant deterioration in the acceleration of the plane on take off.
- The aircraft was capable of normal operation before the collision with the fence.
- The collision caused critical damage.
- Some minutes after the collision about 1/4 of the total horizontal stabilizer area separated from the aircraft causing it to become uncontrollable in pitch and dive to the ground.

Crash of a Grumman G-44 Widgeon in Kaipara Harbour: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jan 21, 1980
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-BGQ
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Auckland - Kaipara Harbour
MSN:
1391
YOM:
1944
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Crashed in unknown circumstances in Kaipara Harbour while on a flight from Mechanics Bay. Both pilots were killed.

Crash of a Fletcher FU-24-950M in Paparata: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 10, 1979
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-CAY
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Paparata - Paparata
MSN:
79
YOM:
1962
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Flying operations commenced at 07:30 a.m. after a delay caused by unfavourable weather. Twenty-seven loads of fertilizer were sown before the pilot and loader driver stopped for a 30-minute break. During this break the plane was refueled to capacity. After the break the pilot instructed the loader driver to put the same load in the hopper as before and then started his take off from the sloping airstrip. A witness thought the aircraft was taking longer to get off the ground than it had earlier. The loader driver looked up to see the plane in a left hand turn at a height of 30 to 40 feet just off the end of the strip and "porpoising". The angle of bank was then seen to increase to beyond vertical, and the plane crashed in an inverted attitude on the far side of a nearby gully. It was destroyed by impact and an intense fire and the pilot, sole on board, was killed. This was not a survivable accident.
Probable cause:
The accident investigator found that a freshening of the breeze during the rest and refueling break caused a slightly increased tailwind component on the take off run. This, combined with a full hopper load and full fuel meant that the aircraft no longer had sufficient distance available to become fully airborne in. The Fletcher had flown through a fence at the end of airstrip in a nose high attitude and the impact of a concrete post had damaged the left stabilator and wrenched it out of alignment with the fuselage. This damage also affected the free movement of the control. The fertilizer load was not jettisoned. There was no evidence that the MAUW had been exceeded but the plane was clearly overloaded for the ambient conditions. The CG was within the permitted limits. The weather was favourable for aerial topdressing with high cloud, a light breeze, and good visibility. The engine was developing full power right up until the final impact. The investigator concluded his report with the opinion that the probable cause of the accident was that the pilot was unable to maintain control after damage to a flight control system occurred when the aircraft failed to become airborne and struck a fence at the end of the airstrip.

Crash of a Fokker F27 Friendship 500 off Auckland: 2 killed

Date & Time: Feb 17, 1979 at 1435 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-NFC
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Gisborne - Auckland
MSN:
10456
YOM:
1971
Flight number:
NZ4374
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Aircraft flight hours:
18718
Aircraft flight cycles:
25704
Circumstances:
On final approach to Auckland-Ardmore Airport, the aircraft's speed increased from 165 to 211 knots. The pilot-in-command (first officer) completed a last turn to join the runway 05 but was unable to locate it due to heavy showers. Too low, the airplane struck water surface and crashed in shallow water 1,025 meters short of runway 05 threshold. A pilot and a passenger were killed while two other occupants were injured.
Probable cause:
The accident was probably caused by the crew being misled, by a visual illusion in conditions of reduced visibility, into believing they were at a safe height and consequently failing to monitor the flight instruments sufficiently to confirm their aircraft maintained a safe approach path. The accident was the consequence of a controlled flight into terrain.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.114 Heron 1B in Ardmore

Date & Time: May 9, 1977
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-EJM
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
14005
YOM:
1952
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
For unknown reasons, the four engine airplane landed too far down the runway at Ardmore Airport. After touchdown, the pilot started the braking procedure when the left brakes failed. The airplane veered off runway to the right, struck a drainage ditch and came to rest with serious damages to its nose gear, engines and both wings. The pilot was uninjured and the aircraft was not repaired.

Crash of a Fletcher FU-24 in Pukekohe: 1 killed

Date & Time: Mar 25, 1974 at 0802 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-BVB
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
67
YOM:
1957
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot had flown from the farm earlier in the morning before going away for about two hours and then returning. At about 08:00 the property owner saw the plane approaching and making a low run over the airstrip apparently in order to frighten away some cattle obstructing the landing area.. The owner, a pilot himself, had experienced a similar situation before and went move the stock out of the way. He had lost sight of the aircraft for a brief period when he heard a bang and then the plane came back into view, rolling to starboard until inverted, and diving vertically into a hillside and exploding. Ground evidence showed that the Fletcher had struck with its right wing tip a 400 pound ( 180 kg ) cattle beast, killing the animal and dislodging the metal wing tip fairing which was found nearby with its leading edge crushed. Starting a few metres further on a 46 metres long scrape mark was visible on the surface having been made by the exposed end of the outer wing. The aircraft then collided with the corner of a hangar, the outboard end of the right wing contacting the building about 2.5 metres above ground level and 1 metre below the top. This impact caused the separation of the right outer wing panel. The plane, now out of control, cleared the top of another hangar and adjacent tall trees before diving into a hillside, exploding in flames and breaking up as it tumbled down the slope. The aircraft was destroyed and the pilot was killed.
Probable cause:
The investigator found that control was lost with the separation of the outer wing wing panel on impact with the hangar. Aileron control had survived the collision with the animal. Factors that may have contributed to the accident were the altitude and azimuth of the morning sun which may have dazzled the pilot and the possibility that the aircraft was affected by its own wake turbulence created by the first low run down the airstrip.

Crash of a Fletcher FU-24 in Orakei

Date & Time: Oct 29, 1973
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-CDW
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Auckland - Auckland
MSN:
90
YOM:
1962
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Crashed in unknown circumstances in Orakei, in the suburb of Auckland, while engaged in a spraying mission.

Crash of a Grumman G-44 Widgeon in Auckland: 4 killed

Date & Time: Dec 24, 1970 at 0744 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-BAY
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Mechanics Bay - Mechanics Bay
MSN:
1362
YOM:
1944
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
Pilot Roger Poole was taking a TV news crew of three to film a burning 8.5m launch near Browns Island. After circling the launch and landing nearby, the floatplane took off and circled to the right at low level. It straighten out as if to return to base at Mechanics Bay, but then banked steeply to the right, the turn becoming near vertical. The nose dropped and it crashed into the sea, killing all four aboard.
Probable cause:
The investigation found the float near the wingtip could obscure filming, but for a better camera angle the aircraft could be flown with the right rudder to skid around the nose, with opposite aileron to counteract any rolling effect. The pilots view to the right was obstructed by the camera operator, he was flying into the early morning sun, and the artificial horizon was switched off and locked, all of which prevented him realising the dangerous angle until too late.