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Southland Regional Council

Crash of a PAC Fletcher FU-24-954 in Mount Linton

Date & Time: Nov 14, 2014 at 1300 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-EMN
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
265
YOM:
1979
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The pilot was engaged in an agricultural spraying mission on this FU-24-954. The single engine aircraft hit the terrain in Mount Linton, near Ohai. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and the pilot, sole aboard, was seriously injured.

Crash of a Cessna 207 Skywagon in Milford Sound: 6 killed

Date & Time: Jan 19, 2002 at 1000 LT
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-SEV
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Te Anau-Milford Sound
MSN:
207-0204
YOM:
1971
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Captain / Total flying hours:
635
Captain / Total hours on type:
13.00
Circumstances:

While cruising at 4,400 feet in good weather conditions, the aircraft hit the slope of Gertrude Saddle mountain, 11 km from Milford Sound. All six occupants were killed. According to TAIC, the pilot was flying to close from mountain and the aircraft encountered downdraft.

Crash of a PAC Fletcher FU-24-954 near Riversdale: 1 killed

Date & Time: Mar 27, 1999 at 1435 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-EMV
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Riversdale - Riversdale
MSN:
276
YOM:
1980
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
8175
Captain / Total hours on type:
4500.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8837
Circumstances:
After completing the first run at the heavier weight, the pilot of ZK-EMV indicated to the loader driver that the load be increased by an additional hundredweight after the next run. The pilot of the second aircraft remained at 22 hundredweight, though he had moved his loading point back a short distance to provide additional take-off distance. The second pilot was still encountering “some sink” after take off, coinciding with the raising of flap. On completion of the second run at 22 hundredweight, the pilot of ZK-EMV positioned the aircraft for loading about 25 m to the east of his previous loading point. ZK-EMV was regarded by some personnel in the company to have had slightly better performance than other similar model aircraft. Consequently the increase to 23 hundredweight, while of interest, did not raise any concerns by the loader driver. Despite being unable to observe the departure of ZK-EMV, the loader driver was still able to hear the aircraft’s engine noise and recalled nothing unusual as the aircraft departed after loading. On returning from his run, the pilot of the second aircraft saw ZK-EMV to his lower right, in a steep climb, estimated to be about 45 to 50°. As it continued to climb the aircraft rolled slowly to the left, peaking at a height equivalent to “3 times power pole height”. Objects were seen falling from the aircraft during this time. Once inverted the aircraft descended rapidly, striking the ground. The aircraft hit the ground approximately 350 m from the strip, near where the power lines crossed a bend in the road and a small intersection. The pilot of the second aircraft landed and informed the two loader drivers. Together the group headed for the accident site in the loader truck. While en route a member of the group alerted emergency services by the use of a cellular telephone. The accident was also observed by the driver of a truck who had recently deposited a load of fertiliser in the bin at the airstrip. The driver had stopped the truck on a narrow gravel road below the airstrip to check the tailgate of the trailer. He then heard an aircraft begin its take-off run and decided to stay and watch the departure as the aircraft would fly over the road close to where the truck was parked. The driver saw ZK-EMV leave the end of the strip and “sag down a long way”, appearing to “drop like a stone”. The aircraft was observed to be in a high nose or climbing attitude as it continued to descend in a slight left turn towards a fence next to the road. The aircraft was then seen to strike the fence and balloon up, dropping fertiliser as it climbed. The aircraft then rolled left and descended in the direction of the truck driver, who quickly sought cover underneath the trailer. The aircraft struck the ground in a paddock next to the road, stopping about 5 m from the truck. With 15 years of working near agricultural aircraft, the truck driver considered himself to be familiar with their operations. The driver observed no items falling from the aircraft before it struck the fence, or anything hit the aircraft. He considered the engine to be at “full song” or maximum power the whole time and heard no change in pitch or beat. After the accident the truck driver went quickly to the upturned aircraft and attempted unsuccessfully to locate the pilot. The driver then headed for the airstrip in the truck, meeting the loader drivers and second pilot on their way to the aircraft. On reaching ZK-EMV the bucket on the loader was used to lift the aircraft to gain access to the cockpit. However, no assistance could be given to the pilot who had died on impact.
Probable cause:
The following findings were identified:
- The pilot was appropriately licensed, rated and experienced for the agricultural operation.
- The aircraft had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness and its records indicated that it had been maintained correctly.
- There was no evidence of any malfunction with the aircraft.
- The topography of the area should have presented no unusual problems for the pilot.
- The weather conditions at the time were suitable for sowing.
- A light tailwind component degraded the take-off and departure performance of the aircraft.
- Any ground effect benefits would have been lost immediately after take-off.
- The pilot was unable to establish a positive climb gradient after take-off.
- The aircraft was probably overweight for the prevailing variable weather conditions at the time of the last take-off.
- The pilot’s jettisoning of the load was too late to prevent the aircraft from striking the fence.
- As a result of striking the fence, the aircraft became uncontrollable.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 402C off Halfmoon Bay: 5 killed

Date & Time: Aug 19, 1998 at 1643 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-VAC
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Halfmoon Bay - Invercargill
MSN:
402C-0512
YOM:
1981
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
9
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
14564
Captain / Total hours on type:
27.00
Aircraft flight hours:
13472
Circumstances:
Surviving passengers reported that en route from Stewart Island to Invercargill there were symptoms of a righthand engine failure, which was corrected by the pilot's manipulation of floor-mounted fuel tank selectors. Shortly afterwards, both engines stopped. The pilot broadcast a Mayday and advised the passengers that they would be ditching. A successful ditching was carried out approximately 12 NM south of Invercargill. All occupants escaped from the aircraft, however, four persons exited without life jackets. The pilot entered the cabin but was unable to locate more before the aircraft sank. Rescuers reached the scene about an hour after the ditching only to find that all those without life jackets had perished, as had a young boy who was wearing one.
Probable cause:
A TAIC investigation found that there was no evidence of any component malfunction that could cause a double engine failure, although due to seawater damage the pre-impact condition of most fuel quantity system components could not be verified. Both fuel tank selectors were positioned to the lefthand tank, and it is probable that fuel starvation was the cause of the double engine failure. Company procedures for the Cessna 402 lacked a fuel quantity monitoring system to supplement fuel gauge indications. Dipping of the tanks was not a feasible option. Company pilots believed that the aircraft was fitted with low-fuel quantity warning lights, which was not the case. As three pilots believed the gauges indicated sufficient fuel was on board before the preceding round trip to the island, exhaustion may have followed an undetermined fuel indicating system malfunction. The failure of the company to require the use of operational flight logs, and other deficiencies in record keeping, were identified in the TAIC report. The much-publicised misunderstanding about the ditching location was not considered by the TAIC report to have affected the outcome of the rescue, but provides an example of the continued importance of using the phonetic alphabet in radiotelephony. A safety recommendation that operators use a fuel-quantity monitoring system to supplement fuel gauge indications was also made by the TAIC report.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 207 Skywagon in Milford Sound: 7 killed

Date & Time: Dec 30, 1989 at 1532 LT
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-DQF
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Milford Sound - Queenstown
MSN:
207-0053
YOM:
1969
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Captain / Total flying hours:
455
Captain / Total hours on type:
4.00
Circumstances:
Two Cessna 207 Skywagon of Air Fiordland (ZK-DQF) and Milford Sound Scenic Flights (ZK-DAX) were engaged in a charter flight from Milford Sound to Queenstown, carrying Japanese tourists. On board ZK-DQF were six passengers and one pilot and four passengers and one pilot on board ZK-DAX. En route, while cruising over the Milford Sound area, both aircraft collided. While the pilot of ZK-DAX was able to perform an emergency landing, ZK-DQF entered a dive and crashed, killing all seven occupants. All five people on board ZK-DAX were rescued but both aircraft were destroyed.
Probable cause:
The mid-air collision occurred because neither pilot saw the other aircraft in time. Causal factors were the pilot's restricted cockpit vision, a lack of pilot awareness to maintain an effective look-out; the unnecessarily high density of traffic and the unplanned merging of two streams of aircraft after a weather deterioration necessitated a change in route after departure.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 207 Skywagon in Milford Sound

Date & Time: Dec 30, 1989 at 1532 LT
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-DAX
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Milford Sound - Queenstown
MSN:
207-0131
YOM:
1969
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1120
Captain / Total hours on type:
718.00
Circumstances:
Two Cessna 207 Skywagon of Air Fiordland (ZK-DQF) and Milford Sound Scenic Flights (ZK-DAX) were engaged in a charter flight from Milford Sound to Queenstown, carrying Japanese tourists. On board ZK-DQF were six passengers and one pilot and four passengers and one pilot on board ZK-DAX. En route, while cruising over the Milford Sound area, both aircraft collided. While the pilot of ZK-DAX was able to perform an emergency landing, ZK-DQF entered a dive and crashed, killing all seven occupants. All five people on board ZK-DAX were rescued but both aircraft were destroyed.
Probable cause:
The mid-air collision occurred because neither pilot saw the other aircraft in time. Causal factors were the pilot's restricted cockpit vision, a lack of pilot awareness to maintain an effective look-out; the unnecessarily high density of traffic and the unplanned merging of two streams of aircraft after a weather deterioration necessitated a change in route after departure.
Final Report:

Crash of a Britten-Norman BN-2A-26 Islander near Milford Sound: 10 killed

Date & Time: Aug 8, 1989 at 1035 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-EVK
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Wanaka - Milford Sound
MSN:
583
YOM:
1977
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
9
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
10
Captain / Total flying hours:
1063
Captain / Total hours on type:
12.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8350
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft was completing an on-demand scenic flight from Wanaka to Milford Sound, carrying nine tourists and one pilot. En route, in unknown circumstances, the aircraft crashed on the Blue Duck Glacier located near Milford Sound. The wreckage was found few hours later at the altitude of 5,400 feet. All 10 occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The lack of direct evidence to account, operationally or structurally, for the manner in which the aircraft struck the mountain slope, the remoteness of the site which provided no witness observation to describe the aircraft’s flight path prior to the event and the absence of any survivor, combined to preclude a determination of the accident’s probable cause.
Final Report:

Crash of a Britten-Norman BN-2A-7 Islander in Ryans Creek

Date & Time: Oct 27, 1980
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-IAS
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Invercargill - Ryans Creek
MSN:
182
YOM:
1970
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On final approach to Ryans Creek Aerodrome on a cargo flight from Invercargill, the twin engine airplane lost height and crashed short of runway. The pilot, sole on board, was injured and the airplane was written off.
Probable cause:
Loss of control on final approach after the airplane encountered windshear and turbulences.

Crash of a Fletcher FU-24 in Awarua

Date & Time: Mar 19, 1968
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-CFP
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
97
YOM:
1963
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Crashed in unknown circumstances while completing a spraying mission in Awarua, 10 km south of Invercargill. The aircraft was destroyed and the pilot was injured.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.89B Dominie in Milford Sound

Date & Time: Apr 22, 1964
Operator:
Registration:
ZK-BAU
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
6654
YOM:
1943
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
At liftoff, the airplane went out of control and struck the runway surface before coming to rest. All three occupants were evacuated safely while the aircraft was considered as damaged beyond repair.