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Air New Zealand in doubt over sight seeing flights to Antarctica

Back in February of 2012 many families who lost loved ones on the DC10-30 ZK-NZP TE901 accident in the Antarctica had revisited the sight of what remains the memorial and the wreckage of flight TE901 on the lower slopes of Mt Erebus. Air New Zealand put on a specail public charter using there own B744 too the ice after 35 years ago when they lost one of there DC10-30 aircraft.257 passengers and crew perished. Now the airline has run into trouble trying to find a suitable wide bodied aircraft for… ( More...

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tracytearata 2
Looking at this being a Kiwi myself. I cannot see why the families Carnot revisit the site where there family members perished in 1979. Air New Zealand owes that to them and to the rest of the nation of NEW ZEALAND. I am sure the B773 can do the return trip and stop back at NZCH/CHC to refuel. Remember these are very modern hi tech aircraft compare to the 1970's era of instruments back then. Times have changed. If Qantas can run there B744'S down there why cannot ANZ even if there 747-419's have all gone. Boeing 777's can do that trip. But mind you a twin engine aircraft is what there concern about if things go wrong. What do you think PREACHER1 I here your a former pilot.? Or anyone else like to contribute to this.
John Watson 1
I would not fly to Antartica in any twin and such flights should never be allowed for fare paying passengers. I know all the statistics about the chances of two engines failing but just pause a moment and think about how it would feel to be over the ice with only a single engine between you and another disaster. Charter a 747, A340 or A380 from someone else if these flights are to happen.
The C-130's they use have Wing, empennage, and radar dome heating from engine bleed air and props, windows and pitot tubes electrical power. Their is manual control ability in hydraulic control FBY failure and ability to modify fluids for ice (and other ops). Obviously they wear appropriate clothing and 20 or less fly at any one time. Commercial aircraft in the environment don't have the same protections and if any emergency arises and a miracle 747/A380 ice landing occurs the stations (McMurdo etc.) don't have the capacity for 100 plus frozen meat popsicles or in an accident don't have the medical capacity to cope. If anyone really wants to go call on the government to take properly dressed people in a C-130 and arrange a helicopter to visit the actual site. don' have to get out of the copter but better the staring out a window at a memorial speck 16,000 ft.below.
....better then... - wish they would have the ability to edit.
al white 2
The spelling is atrocious, go back and rewrite this one.
I hope it's not a verbatim report because the spelling is atrocious...
I well remember that day. I was a journalist covering the IATA Annual General Meeting in Manila when the news came through. The sense of shock was palpable, but the attempted cover-up that came afterwards was worse... There was a very good semi-documentary film made in 2013. Details at
Keith White 1
I recall the day this news broke here in Aussie. So sad for all the families & crew that the courts were needed to uncover the truth. The whole process broke many hearts & trust.
Unfortunately, all the courts uncovered was the change of course, and sure the flight weren't advised. It did not cause the accident. What caused the accident was the Captain's decision to descend in whiteout conditions below his set minimums. Despite the cover up facts that were revealed in the court enquiry it remains pilot error and it always will be.
... beter then...
Regardless of the findings of fact by the court process and the airline cover up involved, this does not and never will alter the cause of the crash. The Captain's decision to fly below minimums in white out conditions to enable his passengers at least some pic taking opportunity was the cause of the crash. Always was and always will be regardless of the cover up.
I remember being glued to the TV that day. While its something some may wish to do I don't believe a commercial aeroplane not equipped for the conditions should be on a sight seeing type of operation. They can't descend to view properly to truly see the site for legal reasons and keeping out of clear icing conditions. Can't lower flaps/extend slats etc. without risking freezing and excess fuel burn. No where to land or and alternate in an emergency.
kaitai929 1
I was youn back then but still to that day remembering the announcement on TV one in NZ the news reader had said these words. A air New Zealand DC10-30 with registration ZK-NZP is missing. I repeat again a air New Zealand DC10-30 with 257passenhers and crew have gone missing on a sightseeing flight to the Antartica. Last contact with the aircraft was at an altitude in the Ross Bay Area around 2.30pm New Zealand time at FL500 from Mc Murdo tower. That sent shivers up my spine when it was read out. Surely there would have being CCTV footage of these passengers and crew deppartimg from gate 2 on the 28 November 1979. RIP to them and there loved ones. ZK-SUH went there in 2013 as NZ6001. Came back ok. Don"t know what they will do now for a aircraft


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