Accident description
Last updated: 26 November 2014
Status:Final
Date:Friday 3 October 2003
Time:21:25
Type:Convair CV-580F
Operator:Air Freight NZ
Registration: ZK-KFU
C/n / msn: 17
First flight: 1952
Total airframe hrs:66660
Cycles:98774
Engines: 2 Allison 501-D13D
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:10 km (6.3 mls) N off Paraparaumu (   New Zealand) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Christchurch International Airport (CHC/NZCH), New Zealand
Destination airport:Palmerston North Airport (PMR/NZPM), New Zealand
Flightnumber: 642
Narrative:
Convair 580 ZK-KFU was scheduled for 2 regular return night freight flights from Christchurch to Palmerston North. At 20:32 flight AF 642 started its take-off from runway 20 on schedule and climbed to FL210. The flight progressed normally. At 21:13 the Wellington controller cleared the flight to descend initially to FL130 and later to FL110. After contacting Ohakea Control the crew were further cleared down to 7000 feet and were given vectors for the approach to Palmerston. The aircraft descended through an area of forecast severe icing, which was probably beyond the capabilities of the aircraft anti-icing system to prevent ice build-up on the wings and tailplane. The aircraft then probably stalled because of a rapid build-up of ice, pitching the aircraft nose down and probably disorientating the crew. Airspeed increased to 392 kts and the G loading was peaking at 3.21 G. The angle of bank was probably between 50░ and 60░. Increasing torsional stress on the wing roots probably caused panels to buckle and separate. At an altitude of 6800 feet the wings and engines started to separate. Nine seconds later the remaining fuselage impacted the sea about vertically and at high speed.

PROBABLE CAUSE: The TAIC accident investigation report did not contain a probable cause.

Classification:
Icing
Loss of control

Sources:
» TAIC

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) - New Zealand
report status: Final
report number: 03-006
report released:19-AUG-2004
duration of investigation:321 days (10.7 months)
download report: Convair 580, ZK-KFU, loss of control and in-flight break-up, Kapiti Coast, 3 October 2003 (TAIC 03-006)
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Follow-up / safety actions
Safety issues identified included after the accident include:

- the need for all pilots and operators to have a better understanding of aircraft icing

- the use of air reports to alert pilots to hazardous meteorological conditions

- the adequacy of aircraft, operator and CAA documentation to assist pilots encountering adverse weather conditions, particularly for IFR and night freight operators in icing conditions

- the adequacy of the installation, performance and capabilities of cockpit voice and flight data recorders

- the requirement for a suitable tracking device to be readily available to find underwater location beacons.

Photos

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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Christchurch International Airport to Palmerston North Airport as the crow flies is 434 km (271 miles).

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