Jump to content
Admin

Civil aviation authority to investigate fatal plane crash

Recommended Posts

A light aircraft that crashed in Raglan killing the two men on board had taken off from Blenheim in the South Island.

It's believed the pair were heading to Auckland when the amateur built yellow Vans-RV4 plunged into the mudflats of the Kaitoke Estuary on Monday afternoon. 

Local residents who witnessed the crash called the local medical centre in Raglan, alerting doctors who rushed to the site, wading into the mud to help. 

The light plane was removed from the mudflats at Kaitoke Estuary in Raglan on Tuesday afternoon.
MARK TAYLOR/STUFF
The light plane was removed from the mudflats at Kaitoke Estuary in Raglan on Tuesday afternoon.

But there was nothing that could be done to save the two men on board who died at the scene, Western Waikato Police response manager Senior Sergeant Dave Hall said on Tuesday afternoon.

The bodies of the pair were removed from the wreck on Monday and had undergone a post-mortem in Auckland. 

The plane had taken off from the Tasman area of the South Island, police said.
MARK TAYLOR/STUFF
The plane had taken off from the Tasman area of the South Island, police said.

Hall said police were still formally identifying the men, who weren't related, and informing next of kin of the pair.

Two Civil Aviation Authority members were at the site on Tuesday afternoon to examine the remains of the aircraft. CAA used a helicopter to remove the wreckage from the harbour, which happened late on Tuesday afternoon.

Hall said the plane departed from the Tasman area of the South Island, heading north and had flown some distance before crashing around 3.20pm on Monday. 

18-wkt-plane001-0f4328cf.jpg
MARK TAYLOR/STUFF
The two men in the Vans-RV4 died when it crashed into the mudflats of Kaitoke Estuary in Raglan.

 

He was unable to say what the purpose of the flight was. 

Exactly what happened was under investigation by CAA but witnesses described how the plane was flying erratically before it nose dived straight down to land on it's belly on the mudflats off East St. 

Tuesday's investigations had focused on speaking to witnesses and examining the wreckage to gather evidence before it was removed from the scene, Hall said. 

Emergency services at the scene of a fatal plane crash that killed two in Raglan on Monday.
MARK TAYLOR/STUFF
Emergency services at the scene of a fatal plane crash that killed two in Raglan on Monday.

The wreckage would then be taken away for further analysis. The site was set to be blessed. 

Raglan Fire Chief Kevin Holmes responded to the crash on Monday. Residents in the area who'd seen the plane crash called the local medical centre, West Coast Health Clinic, alerting doctors to the crash, he said. 

"A couple of the doctors came out with their nurses - thinking if it's an aircraft crash it's going to be bad. 

Two people died after this plane crashed into Raglan Harbour on Monday afternoon.
MARK TAYLOR/STUFF
Two people died after this plane crashed into Raglan Harbour on Monday afternoon.

"They dropped everything, took their shoes off and rolled up their trousers to get across the mudflats. 

"We have some really wonderful medical staff who came at the time of need but there was nothing that could be done for the occupants, which was unfortunate."

Firefighters secured the scene to stop the plane being picked up by the tide and carried away. 

"When the tide was fully in it would only have been in a foot of water at the most."

In Holmes' 24 years of living in Raglan he's attended a raft of plane crashes - four at the airstrip in town.

He recalls the Piper Cherokee that crashed into the water to the shock of beachgoers shortly after takeoff on Boxing Day in 2014. Pilot Alan Butler, 23, and passengers, sister Leanne Butler, 26, and her husband, Kevin Paulsen, 46, survived, although Leanne suffered serious injuries. 

And the helicopter that crashed on the Mt Karioi in 2000 killing a police technician, the pilot and two passengers as the foursome went to test a number of radio repeater stations.

"We get a lot of traffic out this way, it's a popular airstrip. People come on day trips or fly down for a cup of tea at the local cafe. 

"Over summer it's not uncommon to have up to 20-odd planes parked up at the airstrip, they fly in and fly out. It's become popular and really busy."

Investigation ahead

CAA investigators will take photographs and record details of the accident scene. During that time they will also liaise with police and emergency personnel on site.

Once the scene examination is complete, the investigators will decide which parts of the aircraft need to be retained for further analysis.

"They'll then talk to witnesses and persons directly involved with the aircraft. It may also be necessary to gather information from family members and friends of those involved. This may include requests for personal documentation, such as the pilot's logbook," a CAA spokeswoman said.

Investigators may also request documentation relating to the aircraft and its maintenance activity.

Assistance will also be sought from the MetService, also the aerodromes the aircraft took off from and was heading to, and pathology staff.

At the conclusion of the safety investigation phase, the investigator in charge will produce a report for the Civil Aviation Authority.

The description on Van's Aircraft website says that the American RV-4 holds two people and a moderate amount of baggage.

The aircraft is flown from the front seat only, but the kit includes a stick for the rear-seater so that person can share the fun.

It describes the seating as compact, but still comfortable.

It states the span is 23 feet, and its length is 20 ft 4 inches. Designer Dick Van Grundsven flew the first in August 1979.

On Monday a witness reported seeing the plane doing a 'death barrel roll' before it nosed dive into the ground.

The plane went down in one of the inlets near Main Road, in a spot police described as being near the shoreline at end of East Street.

Raglan resident Monica Schischka was out on her deck with her flatmates when the plane went down.

Schischka said the plane was flying erratically and went into a "death barrel roll" that was a "full 90 degrees".

"We saw it coming down, heading straight down like it had fully nose dived and it didn't pull up or anything and then we heard the thud."

She said it was a muted sound and there was no fire or smoke around the wreckage.

"It was like a muffled thud. It went into the ground and we went around and had a look and it was on the mud.

"At first I thought they were doing a trick. But they were getting so close to the ground and then you just heard it. It wasn't a trick. We were pretty sick[ened] because we kind of knew that someone's just died for sure."

CAA would like to hear from any witnesses to the event or people who may have relevant information. Please email isi@caa.govt.nz

Stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I thought it was pretty balanced and comprehensive for an initial news report. Nowhere was the word 'Cessna' used.

And one witness making apparently garbled comments does not amount to inaccurate reporting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, IBob said:

Actually, I thought it was pretty balanced and comprehensive for an initial news report. Nowhere was the word 'Cessna' used.

And one witness making apparently garbled comments does not amount to inaccurate reporting.

But it’s not one witness. It was several I think. 

One said the “death barrel roll” and “90 degrees” and another that it “nose dived and landed flat on its belly. “

 

The biggest problem is people try to sound like they are knowledgeable by using jargon, which makes them sound contradictory and unreliable. It would be far better if people used a solely descriptive explanation. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A spin would look like a death barrel roll to many, it did nose  dive and it ended up on its belly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say I find it a bit odd that people have accidents, sometimes fatal as in this case, and the principal preoccupation here seems to be critiquing how that news is conveyed.

I'm trying to think of any other group or community that does that...........anyone???

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking it was an exit to a loop (coming down vertically, nose at the ground), got into a high speed stall ( exceded angle of attack) and hence "pancaked" into the ground.... 

Edited by Downunder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not very productive discussing overseas accidents; although the language might be English, some words have completely different meanings, local phrase may be used which have a different meaning, terminology is different, rules are different, procedures are different, and so on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, IBob said:

I have to say I find it a bit odd that people have accidents, sometimes fatal as in this case, and the principal preoccupation here seems to be critiquing how that news is conveyed.

I'm trying to think of any other group or community that does that...........anyone???

Motor cycle industry, medical, nursing, actors, heavy vehicle. The law.  

Basically every specialised narrow industry which is not understood by the lay public is reported on with hyperbole and sensationalism and frequently as if it has something to hide ( which requires sensationalism to justify the probing and exposure ). 

Usually the reporter has little knowledge of the field and resorts to jargon and technical terms that are often incorrect in the context presented

 

This destroys faith in the article by those who do have knowledge in the field and it is they  who make the complaints about the reporting because it serves little to know aid in adding to knowledge about the event or how it may serve to prevent similar events in the future. 

Edited by Jaba-who

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the area well having flown in to Raglan many times. If the aircraft was coming from the South as reported and the wind was Westerly he would have flown around Mount Karioi, an extinct volcano 2500 feet high on the seaward side, flown up the entrance of the harbour, overflown the aerodrome descending to circuit height from the dead side and where the aircraft came to rest is basically where he would have been turning on to base for landing on RWY 23. Possibly a stall in the turn and there was insufficient height to pull out, hence the description of a death barrel roll but landing on its belly.

  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, IBob said:

And that's a positive contribution, is it???

 

I think it was a fair and reasonable comment in the circumstances of an absence of knowledgeable witnesses reported comments, with official investigation yet to be completed.  In any case, there are several possible scenarios which may have been the cause of this accident. Lets wait and see. RIP

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, I can wait for the investigation and in the meantime I'll quietly note the words from the witnesses with my observations of the accident site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×