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Mid-air Explosion In NZ  
User currently offlineNZ1 From Australia, joined May 2004, 2277 posts, RR: 25
Posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 10503 times:
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A NZ post Metro exploded over New Plymouth last night. Very sad indeed.



A plane that crashed killing two crew in Taranaki last night shook houses as it passed overhead on fire before exploding into a ball of flames.

The Airworks Metroliner, carrying courier cargo from Auckland to Blenheim, crashed about 10.15pm around 5km east of Stratford.

Stratford police today named the two pilots killed in the crash. They were Clive Rodger Adamson, 43, of Wellington, and Anthony Brian Arthur Drummond, 41, of Manukau City.

Inspector Frank Grant said the bodies of the two men had been recovered from the crash scene and were being taking to New Plymouth where a post mortem would be carried out.

About 15 to 20 people had come into the police station today with items of debris and witness accounts, he said.

The debris had been found up to 15km from the farmland - about 5km east of Stratford - where the fuselage and cockpit had been found.

It appeared the aircraft turned off course and went off radar before the crash, Mr Grant said.

Area resident Geoff Hunger said the plane had shaken his house last night, making a noise something like a fighter jet, as it went overhead.

He thought the noise had been so intense inside the house probably because the plane had been so low at the time.

"We wondered what was coming through the house as it went over the top of here. That made us look out the window and you could see the thing on fire," he said.

"It was just a ball of flames ... It was like you'd got a big bonfire in your backyard as it went through."

After hearing the noise and going outside he had seen "this orange glow going through the sky and about 20 seconds later there was just a big explosion (in midair), I suppose, but you didn't hear it from here", Mr Hunger said.

"When it exploded you saw the big, big flash of exploding, then you saw what would be the burning bits of the plane falling out of the sky."

He had thought it might be a meteor, but "if it was a shooting star, she was one hell of a shooting star."

It had been frightening when it went past.

"You thought, 'that's fair moving', and it was just a big bright light, a big orange glow going through the sky, and then as it sort of slows down on what is our horizon it just went 'boof' into a big red, orange glow. Then you just saw these bits fall to the ground like teardrops of just big balls of flame."

Another resident, Clair Edwards, said the noise had given her a fright.

"It was a huge, huge noise ... unbelievable."

At first it sounded something like the noise made when young motorists did "donuts" on the road, she said.

"But I thought, it's too heavy. Then it just got louder and louder and then this huge explosion then dead silence, totally dead silence."

Inspector Tom Ireland of police central communications said major pieces of wreckage had been found in gullies and wooded areas, with the Fire Service being called in to put out fires.

Police had received about 20 phone calls about the crash, with reports varying from "a ball of fire in the sky", to "a ball of fire on the ground", Mr Ireland said.

"So at some stage there has been a fire, whether it's been in the air, and a break-up has occurred in the air, or on the ground, that's for the air crash investigators to determine."

"In this case the plane's come down from over 20,000 feet, so the impact's been quite substantial and there will of course be debris spread over quite a wide ... field."

Last night's operation had not been difficult, with the Rescue Coordination Centre putting a helicopter up and police getting staff to the area, Mr Ireland said.

"It was just a matter of locating exactly where the aircraft had come to rest, in the major pieces.

"Being in rural farmland, of course, we were very, very lucky that there were no injuries on the ground."

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission said it had sent two people to Taranaki today to investigate the cause of the crash.

The plane was a Fairchild metroliner SA227-AC, registration ZK-POA, chief investigator of accidents John Mockett said in a statement.

A Blenheim air cargo pilot who has been in the business for many years said investigators would look first at whether someone had posted "undeclared hazardous goods" that should not have been sent.

"Aeroplanes don't come down like this," he said. "It is not normally this dramatic. It is going to be something unusual."

Such goods could include anything combustible - turpentine, for example.

The pilot said there had not been a mid-air collision and there would not have been birds up there.

After cargo, the next possibility was mechanical, he said.

The incident was an unfortunate tragedy that involved two very experienced pilots.

New Zealand Post spokesman Ian Long said there was nothing to suggest any hazardous substances were on board.

"It wouldn't help at all to get into speculation at his stage," he said.

He said people had a responsibility to declare hazardous substances and there were checks and balances to ensure unsafe material was not sent.

The plane had been carrying items sent through courier brands Courier Post and Skyroad, largely all destined for Blenheim and Nelson.

The brands were operated by the company Express Couriers, a joint venture between NZ Post and DHL.

The aircraft had been operated by company Airworks on behalf of NZ Post.



source: www.stuff.co.nz

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7394 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 10439 times:

POA was an old 'childflight' plane. I actually only got it on film a short while ago.
Jonathan got the last photos uploaded of it.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jonathan Rankin
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jonathan Rankin



User currently offlineGQfluffy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 10425 times:

Egad! Best wishes to the families of those involved. If you can, keep us posted. I think I'll do some looking into this as well. My airline flies Metroliners....

fluffy


User currently offlineAerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7394 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 10418 times:

Just to add, The Metroliner isn't pressurised is it? Could it have been some of the extra medical fittings to blame for the explosion?? I guess we'll have to wait 18 months for the CAA findings...

User currently offlineGQfluffy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 10388 times:

Quoting Aerorobnz (Reply 3):
The Metroliner isn't pressurised is it?

Sure is. I think the thread starter said something about it being at 20,000 feet. I know our (GQ) planes fly @ 20,000 feet all the time.

fluffy


User currently offlineAerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7394 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 10276 times:

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 4):
Sure is. I think the thread starter said something about it being at 20,000 feet. I know our (GQ) planes fly @ 20,000 feet all the time.

So it sounds like a rapid depressurisation caused by something like shrapnel from a blown engine after all. I don't think it'd be a bomb on such a small and nonpax aircraft.


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12340 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 10235 times:
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This is very sad news, as an ex NZ Post employee, I would hate to know what thoughts are going throu the employees minds today.

User currently offlineGQfluffy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 10199 times:

Like you said, most likely an MX of some sort. The Metro is a tough little plane, but the fleet is getting old fast.

fluffy


User currently offlineZK-NBT From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 5359 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 10176 times:

Very Sad, Condonences to the families of those involved!

RIP


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12340 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 10170 times:
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Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 7):

I heard on the radio this morning while driving to work that its possible that an engine could have helped with the explosion.


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12340 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 10152 times:
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Just looked on airworks web-site and nothing in the media releases or any where on the web-site about the crash

User currently offlineMark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 10136 times:

Very sad news  Sad


Brings back memories hearing about the Metroliner II that had a left wheel well fire just after takeoff from Dorval (Montreal) in June 1998 and crashed minutes later killing all 11 aboard when attempting to emergency land at Mirabel. (the fire had spread to the wing which then came apart)


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12340 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 10114 times:
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Also QO (Origin Pacific) operate Metroliners IIIs on their daily freight flights as well as on the DHL code-share flights. I have seen latly some Metros also doing passenger flights

User currently offlineGQfluffy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 10043 times:

GQ is selling their Metro IIIs and 23s. Well, maybe I shouldn't say "sell" because I think most of them are leased. But I know we're getting out of the "Metro bizness". Too high and too hot here in the summer months for them to operate economically...

fluffy

(awi only goes so far...)


User currently offlineNZ747 From New Zealand, joined Dec 2004, 967 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 9863 times:

Again, as stated in the same topic started by ZKSUJ earlier this morning:

My condolences to the Pilot's families and all others involved. One of the pilots was a Massey uni Aviation instructor.

A sad day for New Zealand  Sad


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7110 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 9835 times:

"One of the pilots was a Massey uni Aviation"

Yeah, he was the co-pilot on the aircraft. May they RIP.


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12340 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 9798 times:
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Here is a media release, courtesy of the Courier Post web-site

Announcement: Air Accident in Taranaki
It is with sadness that Express Couriers Limited advises that a plane carrying Courierpost and Skyroad Express freight crashed last night (Tuesday 3rd May) about 7 kms from Stratford killing both pilots. The plane was on a flight from Auckland to Blenheim and was estimated to be carrying around 600 Skyroad Express and CourierPost packages destined mostly for Nelson or Blenheim. There are obviously many factors that are unknown at this time as our recovery process is still at a very early stage. We’ll continue to monitor this situation and provide customers with updated information via this bulletin. Alternatively you can also contact us on 0800 COURIER (268 7437). Thank you for your understanding.


User currently offlineNZ1 From Australia, joined May 2004, 2277 posts, RR: 25
Reply 17, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 9681 times:
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I doubt it would have been a bomb iin the mail either. For starters, who would do it, and why? Most likely cause would be something engine related such as a burst fuel pipe etc. I am only guessing. Would be interesting to see the info in the FDR and Voice recorder.

NZ1


User currently offlineNZ1 From Australia, joined May 2004, 2277 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 9672 times:
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Quoting NZ747 (Reply 14):
Again, as stated in the same topic started by ZKSUJ earlier this morning:

Sorry about that. I did a quick search and couldn't find anything.

NZ1


User currently offlineMomona737 From New Zealand, joined Aug 2004, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6244 times:

Very sad news indeed for NZ Post, NZ aviation and the families involved.

Being an ex NZ Post worker myself, I look out for the NZ Post Metroliners parked up on the apron at various airports around NZ., and often hear the drone of their engines very late at night as they fly past my home, a few minutes after take off from Momona.

Let's hope in our beautiful country that a bomb was not the cause.

RIP


User currently offlineFlyboy1980 From New Zealand, joined Nov 2003, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6190 times:

I heard on the radio this morning that the particular Metro had had problems with some wiring.

That was about as detailed as the report got. Was on 91ZM this morning.


User currently offlineMotorHussy From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 3335 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4645 times:

As a current NZ Post employee, I can say that the sadness and in many cases grief is felt throughout the Post Group of companies. John Allen, our CEO sent out a heartfelt email to all employees which included the Media Announcement on the Courier Post website.

This time the post didn't get through.

Haere ra korua; me hoki mai ano.
Farewell to you both; you are welcome to return.

MH



come visit the south pacific
User currently offlineDLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4546 times:

Was this the same company that Denver-based Key Lime Air bought alot of their metros from?

User currently offlineGQfluffy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3889 times:

Motor Hussy, has there been any word as to what may have happened? If it was wiring, I know GQ dumped two of our Metro IIIs because of bad wiring. This was...about 3-4 months ago. Best wishes to you and your fellow co-workers.

fluffy


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7110 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3306 times:

Speculations continue, I was at Burger King and some guy came up to me and asked me what the hell happened with the crash. Weird.
Anyway, the Black Box is in Australia being analyzed now and it is said that it should be released in a few days.


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12340 posts, RR: 18
Reply 25, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3289 times:
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The New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority have confirmed that Metroliners in the past operating in NZ have been subject to several CAA airworthiness directives, some relating to potential fire risk. All Metroliner operators were given directives in November 2001 and December 2003 in a bid to prevent a mid-air fire implicated in the crash. Wiring throu the fuel tank was the most problems.

Here is the link to the story http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=556&ObjectID=10123980


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