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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 34518
Last updated: 19 September 2021
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Time:19:07 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain
Owner/operator:Air Adventures New Zealand Limited
Registration: ZK-NCA
MSN: 31-7405203
Fatalities:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 10
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1.2 nautical miles from runway 20, Christchurch International Airport -   New Zealand
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Palmerston North (PMR/NZPM)
Destination airport:Christchurch (CHC/NZCH)
On 6 June 2003, a charter flight returning to Christchurch from Palmerston North crashed into trees and terrain on approach to Christchurch airport in night time IFR conditions. The aircraft was destroyed when it hit the tops of 10 foot high trees and crashed during the final part of a manually flown ILS approach to Runway 20 at Christchurch. The point of impact was on flat, open ground about 1.2 nautical miles short of the runway threshold. The accident happened in darkness (19:07 hours local time) and in IMC. Visibility was 500 metres in patchy fog and cloud base 30 metres.

However, the accident site is close to the Waimakariri River and the fog may have been worse in this area. The aircraft was operating a flight from Palmerston North.

One possible cause was distraction to the single pilot due to overwork. The pilot and seven passengers died due to impact with trees, two passengers survived with serious injuries. The crash site was not located until 21:24 LT, due to night and fog conditions, the remote location away from roads requiring a search on foot, and the conditions preventing operation of a rescue helicopter.


1. TAIC Report 03-004 Piper PA 31-350 Navajo Chieftain ZK-NCA controlled flight into terrain near Christchurch Aerodrome 6 June 2003:[G]skins%2ftaicAviation%2fskin_aviation
2. NZ Herald - Pilot's decision to fly alone cost 8 lives, coroner says


Gisborne 1997

Revision history:

22-Oct-2008 02:28 XLerate Added
29-Mar-2010 00:55 flyernzl Updated [Source]
29-Jun-2015 01:51 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Sep-2017 18:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Nature, Source, Narrative]

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