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Last updated: 19 September 2021
Status:Final
Date:Monday 25 October 1993
Time:12:45
Type:Silhouette image of generic NOMA model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
GAF Nomad N.22
Operator:Hibiscus Air
Registration: ZK-NOM
MSN: 4
First flight: 1975
Total airframe hrs:3850
Engines: 2 Allison 250-B17B
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Total:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Franz Josef Glacier (   New Zealand)
Crash site elevation: 1370 m (4495 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Mount Cook-Glentanner Airport (GTN/NZGT), New Zealand
Destination airport:Queenstown-Frankton Airport (ZQN/NZQN), New Zealand
Narrative:
The aircraft, a GAF Nomad N.22, had been chartered to fly a German group to a number of tourist destinations in New Zealand. On day 7 of the tour the group was to be flown from Mount Cook to Queenstown. The flight was to include scenic flying in the Mount Cook region. The flight took off from Mount Cook-Glentanner Airport at 11:55. While en route the crew made position reports by radio and was seen flying below the 3500 feet cloud base in the Franz Josef Valley.
The aircraft's position and its heading, more or less directly up the centre-line of the Franz Josef Glacier, drew the attention of a witness. It was then seen to fly at 400-500 feet over the glacier. The aircraft continued until it struck a severely crevassed and pinnacled upper ice-fall of Franz Josef Glacier at an elevation of 4500 feet (1370 m) amsl.

Probable Cause:

The probable cause of this accident was the decision to attempt to climb above the lower region of Franz Josef Glacier which had an average slope steeper than the aircraft could outclimb. A causal factor was the crew's lack of training and experience in mountain flying rendering them vulnerable to visual misperception. Probable contributing factors included a cloud layer limiting the position and altitude at which climb could be commenced and an optimistic assessment ofthe aircraft's capability and progress during the climb.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: TAIC New Zealand
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 190 days (6 months)
Accident number: 93-014
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» TAIC Investigation 93-014


Follow-up / safety actions

TAIC issued 5 Safety Recommendations

Show all...

Photos

photo of GAF-Nomad-N-22-ZK-NOM
probable flight path
photo of GAF-Nomad-N-22-ZK-NOM
accident date: 25-10-1993
type: GAF Nomad N.22
registration: ZK-NOM
photo of GAF-Nomad-N-22-VH-AUH
accident date: 25-10-1993
type: GAF Nomad N.22
registration: VH-AUH
 

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 Mount Cook-Glentanner Airport to Queenstown-Frankton Airport as the crow flies is 165 km (103 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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