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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 32832
Last updated: 17 November 2018
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Date:12-MAY-1988
Time:5.25pm
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA34 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-34-200T Seneca
Owner/operator:Foxpine Air Charter
Registration: ZK-EQA
C/n / msn: 34-7970134
Fatalities:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Ahu Ahu Valley, near Wanganui, North Island -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger
Departure airport:Hamilton
Destination airport:Wanganui
Narrative:
The misloaded Seneca went out of control and crashed.

A personal note about the accident by Jackie Crawford:
The plane had arrived over an hour late to Auckland Airport and Wanganui Airport was not informed by the pilot of it's impending arrival (relatives went to the Airport to collect passengers only to be told no flights were expected the airport was effectively closed. The pilot rushed around shoving in baggage where he could, he had on board is daughter in law and two of her children, and then there were fare paying passengers who had booked through a travel agent......He hussled the passengers on board and hurried off (this was because we later found at the court of inquiry that I pushed for and eventually had granted, he was not instrumented rated and only had experience and qulaifications for flying visually. The other plane flying nearby that night Eagle Air had to increase altitude markedly to reduce the amount of inflight turbulance however this guy could not do that as he could not see the ground, as it got dark he got lost, the passengers must have been sick and frightened, the theory was he saw the pattern of the lights in the AhuAhu valley and thought it was Wanganui Airport, he was so far off course. As he decended down he hit a blind cliff and crashed.
The scene was horrific and the crash site was never cleaned up sufficiently. The enquiry spent a lot of time examining how the air traffic investigator got the investigation so wrong and on the first day the enquiry was adjorned so that he could seek a lawyer to represent him. The papers to have have grounded the operation sat in the Civil Aviation Dept nobody had quite gotten around to actioning papers to stop him or the plane entering the sky (both the plane and pilot were long overdue for safety checks. How a pilot not instrument rated could be booked fare paying passengers through a travel agent in this country is still beyond me particularly one who could not say that he met any of the mandatory safety checks that were in place at the time......To this day I am angry that my sister and her son were killed because of this, it could never be described as an accident rather it was murder.

Sources:

Jackie Crawford, victims sister and person responsible for forcing the Court of Enquiry.


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
28-Nov-2008 11:56 angels one five Updated
16-Feb-2009 23:39 angels one five Updated
18-Feb-2009 08:37 angels one five Updated
19-Mar-2009 12:23 Anon. Updated
22-May-2009 02:33 XLerate Updated
08-Jan-2012 12:16 monarch Updated [Source, Narrative]
08-Jan-2012 12:20 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
18-Feb-2013 13:39 Lug Updated [Departure airport, Narrative]

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