TG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9619 times:
Cause of the crash is still disputed - the accident report found that the cause of the crash was the decision of the captain to descend below minimum regulated altitude. A later court enquiry found that the cause of the crash was the changing of flight coordinates without informing the flight crew.
When it comes down to the nitty gritty, it's a tragic case of chicken and egg. Flight plan didn't change, crash wouldn't have occurred; crew didn't descend below minimum, crash wouldn't have occurred.
It was a sombre day at Air New Zealand yesterday - made more so by the incredible, scarcely believeable fact that some of the wreckage has reappeared on Mt. Erebus after many years under the ice, with our company livery still clearly visible, and was spotted by the people attending the memorial service at Scott Base yesterday.
TG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9601 times:
TE901 Passengers and Crew
ADDIS Peter J
AISENMAN Lieone M
ALLAN Jane P
ALLAN Marjorie T
ANDERSON Audrey G
ANDERSON Margaret I
ANGLESEY Grant W
ARMITAGE Ethel M
ARNOLD Melinda M
ARNOLD Valerie E
ASHTON Grahame M
BAINBRIDGE Thomas E
BALDWIN Llewellyn A
BARNICK Kay M
BARNICK Marion R
BECKETT Desmond W
BLAIR Patricia A
BOND Marilyn A
BOND Robin M
BREHAUT Ronald T
BROAD John P
BROAD Phillipa M
BROOKS Geraldine K
BROUGH Aubrey C
BURKHALTER Lucille C
BURGESS Lindsay R
BURGESS Rose E
BURTON Lorraine E
BUTLER Rae Jeanne
CAMPBELL Stuart D
CARLETON John B
CARLETON Marion R
CARR Margaret B
CHADDERTON Brian H
CHADDERTON Valerie E
CHRISTMAS Hugh F
CLARK Irene A
CLARK William H
COCKRILL Joan A
COLBRAN Cyril B
COLBRAN Yvonne L
COLE John W
COPAS Jean A
COPLEY Susan E
COPSEY Audrey J
CRABTREE Mary A
CRABTREE Norman D
DAHL Marie P
DAWSON Peter M
DEBBAGE Florence D
DELMAGE Nora V
DUFF Helen D
DUKE Athol D
DYKZUEL Herman M
EAGLES Gwen L
EDWARDS Elizabeth J
EDWARDS Edna M
EMMETT Cecil C
EMMETT John B
FROST Katherine E
GALLAGHER Alfred J
GALLAGHER Elsie T
GULLAND Pamela M
HANCE Florence L
HANSEN Marlene A
HARRIS Hazel P
HARRISON Muriel F
HARTLEY James F
HARTY Myra P
HILL Eileen E
HILL Gordon A
HAWORTH Kathleen M
HOLLOWAY Jean M
HOLTHAM Bryan E
HOTSON Roy H
HOUGHTON John G
HOWARTH Ralph B
HUGHES Stephen W
HUMPHREY Mildred A
HYNDMAN Thomas W
IMAI Akira IMAI Hisako
JAHN Ernest A
JARVIS Nicholas D
JENKINS Evelyn L
JENNINGS Charles I
KARL Kathleen F
KEARNEY Dennis F
KEITH John E
KENDON Nancy P
KERR Francis R
KERR Geoffrey I
KILSBY Anthony J
KILSBY Geoffrey M
KIRK Donald C
KLASSOVITY Paul A
KLENSCH Carl R
LAKE Mary L
LARSEN William O
LAVIN James F
LIES Michael R
LING Alison L
LOMAX William B
LOUGHNAN Charles H
LOUGHNAN Patrick L
MacKENZIE John A
MacKENZIE Stella V
MADGWICK Eudora E
MAGNELL Theodore J
MANLEY David Victor
MANN Dorothy M
MARSDEN Joseph Al
MARTIN Sarah J
MASKELYNE Trevor J
MATHEWS Barbara D
MAYNARD Olive M
MAYNARD William G
McDONALD Shirley J
McKENDRY Richard J
McKENZIE Margaret J
McMILLAN John B
McMILLAN Melba P
McNAMARA Bernard J
McNEIL Eric A
MITCHELL Mark G
MULGREW Peter D
MURRAY Owen J
NICHOLSON Christine M
O'CONNOR Ian J
OLIVER Mervyn J
PALMER David L
PALMER Edward J
PALMER Gary K
PARKAARI Eiji K
PATERSON Ethel M
PATERSON Linda J
PAYKEL Nola M
PAYNE Alfred M
PEACOCKE Marjorie E
PLUMMER Alexander F
PLUMMER Hilda F
POTTER Michael A
PRESTON Robert J
PRICE Beatrice I
PRIDMORE Joy A
REVELL Basil H
REVELL Eileen G
RICHMOND Pamela G
ROBERTS Alison M
ROBERTS Michael S
ROBINSON Betty E
SCOTT Marie T
SHEPHERD George M
SMITH Betty L
SMYTHE Henry H
STEEL Ralph A
STEVENSON Antony J
STEWART Donald M
STOKES Alan M
STOREY Phyllis M
TANTON Peter A
TAYLOR Douglas C
THOMAS Roy P
THOMAS Walter D
THOMPSON Billie T
THOMPSON Henry F
TREMAINE Floss A
TREMAINE Robert D
TRINDER Elaine F
WEBB Alfred W
WILLIAMS Janet C
WILLIAMS Janet M
WILLIAMS Leonard H
WOOD Barbara A
WOOD Irvine K
COLLINS, Thomas James Captain
CASSIN, Gregory Mark First Officer
LUCAS, Graham Neville First Officer
BROOKS, Gordon Barrett Flight Engineer
MOLONEY, Nicholas John Flight Engineer
BENNETT, David John Senior Flight Steward
CARR-SMITH, Elizabeth Mary Stewardess
CATER, Graham Ronald Flight Steward
COLLINS, Martin John Purser
FINLAY, Michael James Senior Flight Steward
KEENAN, Dianne Stewardess
LEWIS, James Charles Flight Steward
MARINOVIC, Suzanne Margaret Stewardess
MAXWELL, Bruce Rhodes Flight Steward
MORRISON, Katrina Mary Stewardess
McPHERSON, Roy William Chief Purser
SCOTT, Russell Morrison Purser
SICKLEMORE David Brian Flight Steward
SIMMONS, Stephen George Flight Steward
WOLFERT, Marie-Therese Stewardess
ZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7161 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9475 times:
I read in a book thet ZK-NCP was nicknemed 'the haunted P' as a mecahnic died while working on the aircraft before it was delivered to NZ. Hence some (very few but some) believe that the aircraft was cursed.
However, still a sad day in NZ. The story was all over the news on the TV. May the passengers and crew Rest in Peace.
777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12689 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 9385 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW FORUM MODERATOR
In todays wellington paper it has a good picture of some of the remains that appeared. The biggest part that has appeared is the forward fuselage, which clearly shows the "a" of air. Also an engine and a cargo net has also appeared further up.
NIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 9276 times:
Horrible crash, the picture on airdisaster.com of the mountain and the trail the DC-10 left was interesting. 79' was a bad year. The AA crash at ORD too, due to horrible maintenance practice was horrible as well.
JumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2465 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8514 times:
This topic is of great interest to me also that i started a thread without noticing that one has already been started.
Apologies for this mistake.
Because of the bond that we austalians have with new Zealand its still felt through our country as if it one of our own.
Aerokiwi From New Zealand, joined Jul 2000, 2843 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8391 times:
The dispicable behaviour of Air NZ management at the time and the meddling of the then Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, only added to the shock. The attempt to cover-up the truth and blame the pilots hands down was, well, shocking.
Justice Mahon was another casualty of the whole affair. He worked to uncover the truth but was ultimately a broken man. So very sad, for all concerned. Amazing that Hillary was due to be on the flight.
My parents said that at the time, it seemed like everyone was connected to someone on the flight.
Planespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3547 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8356 times:
We studed this crash in depth in my CRM/Human Factors class my soph year in college. LIke most accidents, there were a few factors that contributed to this crash. The flight plan being changed, the NDB on antarctica giving errounous singles.....(or something along those lines, something about an NDB), of course the changed flight plan, and then there was the fact that visibility, despite being 60 miles, was basically 0.
It's a phenomon that happens in the north pole or the south pole. When it is an grey, overcast sky, put that white blanket on top of the vast sea of ice, and you get white light bouncing back and forth, creating a white-out situation. An F/O i know at southwest flew C-130's for the Navy in and out of Antarctica, and he described it as "feeling like you couldn't tell if you were a palms width from the surface or at 25,000 feet"
This condition creates an illusion, where the eye basically is focusing on nothing (if you're looking out the window) and it looks as if you are staring into oblivion. Had it been a non-overcast day, they would have most likely seen that giant white mountain in front of their DC-10. Unfortunately it was one of the many pinholes that had to fall into place to create this truly tragic accident.
Av8trxx From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 657 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 8320 times:
BARNICK Kay M
BARNICK Marion R
Marion Barnick (1919-1979) was travelling with her daughter Kay on this trip. Marion was a pilot who learned to fly in 1939 and held all ratings through ATP. She loved to fly, teach aspiring pilots and to help young women attain their aviation goals. I received a memorial flight scholarship for my Commercial in her name.
Gasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 1279 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8162 times:
"From what I have read the reasons for the crash are still not fully known."
"I thought the aircrafts pilots got disorientated in low cloud."
".....the plane hit Mt Erebus at less than 1500ft due to the crew getting lost."
None of the above, in fact being correct.
The DC-10's inertial navigation system computer was re-programmed before the fatal flight to take the aircraft on a path directly over Mt. Erebus without the knowledge of the crew, who believed the track to take them directly up McMurdo sound, well away from high terrain. It had been the practice of Air New Zealand pilots to descend to 2000 feet in VFR on these flights to allow good sightseeing. (Whether this was done with the blessing of Civil Aviation - the regulatory authority - has been the subject of much conjecture.)
TE901 descended through a hole in a cloud layer to 1500 ft, and was VFR. Unfortunately because of the whiteout phenomenon, Mt. Erebus was invisible to them. What they "saw" was exactly what they expected to see had they been flying down McMurdo sound - a flat vista of white.
However unable to establish VHF radio contact with McMurdo at a point when he should have been able, Capt. Collins elected to climb away. Unfortunately just seconds too late to avoid a collision with the mountain.
- Air New Zealand, in the hours following the crash, destroy crucial navigational evidence.
- The somewhat facile Air Accident Report places most of the blame for the accident on the flight crew as they "descended towards an area of poor surface definition"
- The Royal commission of Enquiry headed by Peter Mahon exonerates the crew and places culpability with airline operations and management.
- The Privy Council declare Mahon had outstepped his jurisdiction in making his judgement on airline management (they did not, however, say he was wrong!)
And like after all these tragedies, controversy still remains.
May they rest in peace. I can still remember that awful evening in 1979 when the television gave us the news.....
VirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4579 posts, RR: 39
Reply 19, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8157 times:
I made this post on the anniversary last year, so I will repost it again now:
On the 28th of November 1979, Air New Zealand's DC-10 ZK-NZP, carrying 257 passengers and crew, departed on TE901, a sightseeing flight to the Antarctic. 24 years ago from the time I am posting this, the aircraft was over the Antarctic ice, and less than half an hour away from tragedy, when it crashed into Mt Erebus shortly before 1pm NZDT. It was not until that evening that it became apparent that something had gone terribly wrong, as the aircraft failed to make contact with anyone, and as the time that the fuel would have been exhausted passed, it was acknowledged by CEO Morrie Davis that the aircraft had indeed crashed.
To this day, controversy remains over the exact cause of the accident, and who was to blame. Pilot error was the cause determined by an accident investigation, however a Royal Commission of Inquiry under Justice Peter Mahon apportioned blame squarly with the airline and its practices. The Mahon Report was later overruled by the Privvy Council, not on the merit of what had been found, but because the Commission went beyond its terms of reference. It is unlikely there will ever be any reconciling of the two different theories over the accident.
However, this post is not about beating out the same old arguments, but rather pausing and thinking of those who lost their lives in what was at the time the 4th worst air accident in history, and the second major one of 1979 involving the DC-10. To this date it remains the worst transportation accident in terms of loss of life in New Zealand's history (and only one fatality less than the 1931 Napier Earthquake, New Zealand's worst tragedy), with the almost everyone in the country of around 3 million people at the time having some connection to someone among the 237 passengers and 20 crew. The accident left a terrible scar on New Zealand's national consciousness, one that remains today and will still take some time to heal.
The nationality breakdown of those on board were:
200 New Zealanders
A book which I would recommend on the subject is Impact Erebus by Gordon Vette (a former senior Captain at Air New Zealand, and colleague of the crew of TE901). It makes very interesting reading, although it is biased towards the point of view of the Mahon Report, which placed the blame on the airline and not Captain Collins. The book as available at Amazon.com.
Although the issue remains controversial to this day, one thing which can be said with some certainty is that it has left an indelible impact on the national consciousness and pride of New Zealand. As another anniversary comes and goes, the memories grow older and the event recedes into history. However, for those alive at the time, those familiar with the accident, and especially those who lost friends and loved-ones on that terrible day, it is something that will always be remembered.
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
Spacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3868 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8147 times:
Excellent summary, but I would also add the tardiness of the GPWS. By the time the crew got its warning there was no way to avoid Mt. Erebus.
GPWS systems did not have predictive obstacle warnings in those days... if you were flying straight and level, the GPWS doesn't know there's a mountain in the way of your flight path until it rises up to meet you.
Many airplanes are still using the older style GPWS systems, but many others have a newer type that uses GPS data to predict terrain obstacles in your flight path.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
Kiwiflyer From New Zealand, joined Nov 2004, 1 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8028 times:
Just felt I had to share my experience of this sad time for New Zealand.
Back in 1979 I was 10 years old, but even now I remember that time in my life vividly.
I have always been a huge Air New Zealand fan, never more so than in 1979. Late in 1978 I had the extreme privilege of flying to London with my Mum on Air New Zealand. I can still recall much detail about the flights and even remember pretty much where we were seated. (I even remember I had an omelet for breakfast served on brown crockery.) I adored Air New Zealand's beautiful DC10 and this trip was a dream come true for me.
I was also a member Air New Zealand's Junior Jet Club, and for each leg of the journey had my log book updated and signed by the crew, which I still have today (along with my badge). I even had the privilege of visiting the cockpit on one leg of the trip. I also remember how I thought it was odd that although we were still in an Air New Zealand DC10 we had a British Airways crew on the leg of the journey from Los Angeles to Heathrow.
For my 10th birthday I got a model of Air New Zealand's DC10 which I still treasure today. At night, in bed as a boy, I would turn the lights out and shine my torch to illuminate the tail fin, as I pretended to fly it to distant shores.
The first I remember hearing that something was amiss on that November day was a news flash in the evening saying that the aircraft was overdue. The weird thing thinking about events that night was I never dreamt for one moment the aircraft would not return safely. Even when a newsreader came on later that evening and reported that the aircraft would have run out of fuel did I ever dream that it would not be safe somehow.
I remember a very restless sleep that night and waking early to go through to Mum and Dad's room. I remember hoping that the first radio news would report that the aircraft was safe, however within the next few hours, on a beautiful Wellington morning, I would learn that the aircraft would not be coming home, and this 10 year old boy's heart broke. Truly broke.
For the next few days I remember trying to work out what I was doing exactly at the time of the crash. I felt guilty that perhaps I had been playing at school at the moment all those souls left our shores, and that maybe I could have helped them in some way.
I will always have my memories of my journey in an Air New Zealand's DC10, and the huge sense of loss I felt that changed one little boy's life, as well as our small nation.
The souls on board the aircraft that day may have left our shores, however I feel more strongly than ever that they returned home again to fill our hearts with warmth, peace and love.
Trolley Dolley From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7889 times:
One of my whanau (family) lie unclaimed on that Antarctic mountainside. I've given myself a few days to write on this post. It was absolutely horrible to see the wreckage- a substaintial piece quite clearly belonging to Air NZ- re-emerge from the glacier. It looked too new, like the accident had happened yesterday.
In this case, I honestly feel that its not the dead we should be grieving. They died instantly. They died happy, right up until the time of parting. They were surrounded by champange, laughter and a feeling of shared joy. They were delighting in a wonderful and special day for them. Death came instantly and without warning.
The pain was for those left behind. The accromony, the arguments, the blaming. For those non-New Zealanders, the effect on this small country would be equivalent to an aircrash in the USA, today, killing 23,000. It's made a deep and lasting scar on the country. Thankfully the lessons have been learned.
To me the anniversary is not just about the dead, but about remembering the efforts made by the great team of men who risked their own lives to try and bring everyone back from the dangerous mountainside. It also about the police who put the pieces of a grizly a many thousand-piece jigsaw together to reunite the families that were torn apart. I salute them and thank them.