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Pilots Call on Govt To Make Mahon Erebus Report Official

5 September 2011
New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association (NZALPA)

Pilots Call on Govt To Make Mahon Report Official Erebus Record

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is calling on the Government to include Justice Mahon’s Royal Commission report in the official international record of the events that lead to Air New Zealand flight 901’s collision with Mt Erebus.

With the launch of Broadcaster Paul Holmes new book, “Daughters of Erebus” today, Pilots’ Association President Glen Kenny says the official record of the investigation into the DC-10 crash on the side of Mt Erebus which killed 237 passengers and 20 crew members remains the report by then Chief Inspector of Air Accidents, Ron Chippendale.

“As far as the International Civil Aviation Organisation is concerned, The Chippendale Report, which blamed pilot error for the crash, remains the official record of the accident investigation. We have always believed that the thorough and detailed work of the Royal Commission, led by Justice Mahon should have been accepted and adopted by Aviation authorities here and internationally.

It is timely now for the New Zealand Government to recall the Chippendale report from ICAO as incomplete and that the Mahon report, with Chippendale appended, be resubmitted as New Zealand’s official report of this tragic accident.

In his book, “Verdict on Erebus” (p294), Justice Mahon said: “I could not see that the aircrew had committed any act or omission which amounted to imprudence or lack of care, a view which is shared by every captain with whom I have discussed the question and I reported in those terms to the New Zealand Government.”

Glen Kenny says that in the 32 years since Erebus, “this has been an issue close to our hearts”. "We believe a move by the New Zealand Government to ensure the correct record of events sits with the International Civil Aviation Organisation is appropriate and important.”

Members of NZALPA will be attending the official launch of “Daughters of Erebus” in Auckland this evening. ENDS

About NZALPA:
Glen Kenny is President of the NZALPA and a Boeing 767 pilot. The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is a professional union for New Zealand pilots and air traffic controllers. Established in 1945, NZALPA is an internationally affiliated professional trade union for New Zealand pilots and air traffic controllers. Our diverse membership includes General Aviation and commercial pilots, flight instructors and approximately 400 of New Zealand’s air traffic controllers in the employ of Airways NZ.

NZALPA was one of the 15 founding states of IFALPA - the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations, an organisation founded to represent the interests of over 100,000 pilots worldwide. IFALPA membership is dispersed through 101 Member Associations who work together as the ‘global voice of pilots’.

In 1989 the Air Traffic Controllers joined NZALPA. NZALPA is now one of 130 Member Associations affiliated to the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations (IFATCA), which represents 50,000 air traffic controllers worldwide.

ENDS

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