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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 63453
Last updated: 14 October 2021
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Time:c. 0625
Type:Silhouette image of generic C180 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 180
Owner/operator:Northern Air Services Ltd
Registration: ZK-BGH
MSN: 31124
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Unknown
Location:near Matiere, King Country -   New Zealand
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Farm airstrip
Destination airport:
Pilot: Ernest Gardner.
Location - Morrison Penwarden farm.
The accident aircraft was engaged in fulfilling an aerial topdressing contract on a farm near Taumarunui.
It took off at 0625 with a load of 9.5 hundredweight ( 473 kg ) of cobaltised superphosphate on a sowing sortie that should have taken about 4 minutes.
When the plane did not return at the expected time a search was made and the aircraft was found wrecked in the sowing area. It did not burn.
The wind was light and variable and the weather was not thought to be a factor.

The crash investigation found that the aircraft was making an extremely low sowing run when the pilot pulled up suddenly to avoid high ground.
The RH elevator balance touched the ground and dug in, ripping the RH tailplane and elevator from the airframe and causing the plane to cartwheel and crash at high speed.

No reason was found for the excessively low height of the sowing run.
Mr Gardner was known as a keen pilot, but had an accident record. He had been in 4 accidents in his agricultural flying career, one of them serious enough to require his hospitalisation.

Accident Report No. 25/3/993 concludes :
" 20 (c). The pilot was making an exceptionally low dressing run.
20 (d). In making an effort to avoid collision with the ground the pilot created the conditions which resulted in the elevator balance penetrating the ground, resulting in the starboard tailplane and elevator being torn off.
20 (e). The pilot was prone to indulge in sowing techniques which reduced the margin for error to the minimum , this characteristic being reflected in his past accident record.
21. The accident was caused by collision with the ground during an unjustifiably low sowing-run."


Revision history:

22-May-2009 12:58 XLerate Added
05-Jun-2011 18:42 angels one five Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Narrative]
05-Jun-2011 18:46 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
17-Apr-2013 07:27 angels one five Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
03-Dec-2014 07:51 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
28-Sep-2021 21:55 Ron Averes Updated [Location, Narrative]

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