Accident Cessna 208 Caravan I ZK-SFA,
ASN logo

Date:Monday 29 January 1996
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna 208 Caravan I
Owner/operator:Sounds Air
Registration: ZK-SFA
MSN: 20800051
Year of manufacture:1985
Total airframe hrs:9515 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:18 km NE of Blenheim -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Wellington International Airport (WLG/NZWN)
Destination airport:Picton-Koromiko Airport (PCN/NZOK)
Investigating agency: TAIC
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The Cessna departed Wellington (WLG) for a VFR flight at 2000 feet to Koromiko (PCN). While descending for Koromiko Airport the aircraft entered an area of clouds and flew into the heavily wooded eastern slope of Mount Robertson at 1400 feet (430 m) amsl.

Causal factors:
- The decision by the pilot to descend beneath the cloud layer.
- Illusions, created by the conditions, producing misleading visual references.
- The pilot's misidentification of distant terrain features.
- An undetected heading error, and loss of "positional awareness".
- Insufficient forward visibility, during the later stages of the descent.
- The high speed of the aircraft.
- The decision making by the pilot: the delayed decision to descend beneath the cloud layer; continued flight into deteriorating conditions.

Contributing / influencing factors:
- The pilot's familiarity with the area, creating a false sense of security.
- Improved general weather conditions, causing the pilot to relax.
- A possible false horizon, created by a sloping cloud base.
- The absence of documented procedures to ensure pilots crossed the coast south of Rarangi.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TAIC
Report number: 96-006
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report


TAIC Investigation 96-006



photo (c) Peter Lewis; Wellington International Airport (WLG/NZWN)

Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314