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Narrative:On the morning of 3 July 1985 three Strikemaster aircraft were to carry out a Hi-Lo-Hi rendevous navex. Black 3 (NZ6367) was to carry out his low level leg at 250 AGL on Wednesday Low Level Jet Route Four, before joining Black 1 and 2 at Seddon for a high level recovery to Ohakea. In fact, the route Black 3 intended to fly diverged slightly from the Low Level Jet Route to pass over a farm owned by a relative of Black 1. As Black 3 turned onto the Low Level Jet Route he was slightly earlier than planned, while Black 1 (whose planned track crossed that of Black 3 some 20 nm North of the start of the Low Level Jet Route) was slightly behind time, and south of track. As Black 3 commenced a turn to lose time Black 1 advised on UHF that he had him in sight. Black 3 continued his turn and positioned about ½ nm behind Black 1, and then asked Black 1 to show him the relatives house.
|Owner/operator:||14 Sqn RNZAF|
|C/n / msn:|| |
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||35 km north of Waiau, near the Inland Kaikoura Road -
|Phase:|| En route|
|Departure airport:||RNZAF Ohakea|
The two aircraft flew up a valley toward the farm, Black 1 at 700 1000 AGL and Black 3 at 200 250 AGL. As they approached the farm Black 1 indicated that the house was on a ridge and flew over it himself. Black 3, some distance behind, was just looking for the house when he noticed a series of wires ahead of his aircraft. He immediately pulled up and applied full power but the wires struck the aircraft just under the nose section. A wire moved along the underside of the aircraft, removing the lower anti-collision beacon and the lower UHF antenna before breaking. At least one wire impacted the starboard drop tank, slicing off the forward upper section then snagging on the pylon. This caused the aircraft to lurch violently to the right and depart controlled flight. After a very brief attempt to control the aircraft attitude the pilot realised that he had no control and initiated ejection by pulling the seat pan handle with his right hand. The MDC and seat worked correctly, and the pilot passed directly over the impact point of the aircraft. He landed on the back slope of a ridge with the parachute only opening just before impact. After rolling down the slope a short distance the pilot released his parachute QRB and stood up.
Black 1, who had returned to identify the pall of smoke after being unable to raise Black 3, observed the pilot of Black 3 to be waving and apparently uninjured, and saw people running to his assistance. Black 1 climbed to altitude and passed a Mayday call to Christchurch Information, before joining Black 2 and returning to Ohakea.
The aircraft had struck three 14.6mm dia wires which were part of a 66 KV transmission line, and had crashed into the side of the valley shortly after. The aircraft was destroyed; the pilot suffered only minor cuts and bruises.
1. King, John (1995). Aviation Accidents and Disasters. New Zealand Tragedies. Wellington: Grantham House. pp. 184-185. ISBN 1 86934 042 6.
||angels one five
||Dr. John Smith
||Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]|
||Updated [Operator, Narrative]|