Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Statement on Missing Aircraft from Antarctica New Zealand


28 January 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

For Immediate Release

The wreckage of a Twin Otter aircraft that was reported missing last week in Antarctica has been found in a remote and mountainous area of the continent.

An initial assessment by Kenn Borek Air Ltd. of Calgary, Canada, the owner of the plane, deemed the crash “not survivable”.

The plane was flying in support of the Italian Antarctic Program under the logistical responsibility of the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), and was en route from NSF's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station to the Italian research station at Terra Nova Bay when contact was lost.

The three-person crew were the only people aboard the plane at the time.

On the afternoon of Saturday 26th January a ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft operated by the New York Air National Guard for the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) overflew the last known position from the aircraft’s emergency location transmitter and spotted the aircraft’s tail at an estimated elevation of 3,900m (13,000ft) on Mt. Elizabeth, a 4480m high summit in the Queen Alexandra Range of the Transantarctic Mountains. A Twin Otter carrying U.S. and New Zealand search-and-rescue personnel conducted an aerial survey of the site a few hours later and determined that a landing by fixed-wing aircraft was not possible. Two helicopters--one flown by Southern Lakes Helicopters for Antarctica New Zealand and the other for the USAP by PHI, Inc. -- arrived at the small camp established roughly 50 kilometers from the crash location to support the operation.

Further reconnaissance was undertaken on the 27th January where field teams were able to be landed close to the crash site. Later that afternoon/early evening teams were able to recover some equipment from the exposed tail of the de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter, including the cockpit voice recorder, which should provide aviation authorities with more information about the cause of the crash. However, the team was unable to safely access and so recover the remains of the crew.

Officials with the U.S. Antarctic Program and Antarctica New Zealand have jointly decided to recall search-and-rescue teams from the site of an Antarctic aircraft crash after examination of the plane indicated that it would be unsafe at this point to further disturb the wreckage that is largely embedded in snow and ice on a steep mountain slope.

With the advent of the Antarctic winter, and the generally poor weather conditions at the crash site, any renewed effort to recover the remains will need to wait until the next Antarctic research season. The joint US/New Zealand rescue team will return to the National Science Foundation's McMurdo Station and Antarctica New Zealand's Scott Base later today.

Officials of the Italian Antarctic Program and Kenn Borek Air Ltd., the Calgary, Canada-based operator of the aircraft, have been advised of the decision to recall the team.

Our thoughts remain with all who have a connection to this dedicated crew, in particular their families and friends both in Antarctica and overseas.

Both the U.S. and New Zealand Antarctic Programmes extend their thanks to the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre for their immediate response and coordination of efforts.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election