View Full Version : More crazyness at Air New Zealand

4th Oct 2002, 23:45
I know, it's a media report so it's 90% crap but the bit about being 4 anna bit miles out at 400 ft and relying on the lights from neighbouring islands to check glideslope. I knew 767's were archaic old medieval pieces of machinery but I thought Boeing might have fitted a DME somewhere. :D:D

Air NZ fault could be worldwide problem - experts
05 October 2002

Experts who investigated an Air New Zealand flight that nearly crashed in Samoa believe they have found a landing equipment fault linked to 40 accidents worldwide.

The fault is believed to have caused a major air disaster five years ago.

The Air NZ Boeing 767 with 176 passengers on board was 10 seconds from hitting the sea off Samoa in July 2000 after its instruments told it to land 8.8km from Faleolo Airport.

The pilot pulled up 400 feet from the ocean after noticing lights from a neighbouring island.

Now the crew's account has helped aviation authorities discover a glitch that can be linked to up to 40 other accidents.

Air NZ flight operations vice-president Bryan Wyness said the findings would save lives.

The investigation revealed a warning system that should alert pilots when the instrument landing system, ILS, is not working can be easily shut down with the flick of a single bypass switch on the ground.

On the Air NZ jet it had been switched off for maintenance but no one was aware the switch would shut down the warning system.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation responded to the finding immediately, issuing warnings and new rules to airports, airlines and air traffic controllers worldwide.

Air NZ and the Civil Aviation Authority have suggested the United States National Transportation Safety Board should reinvestigate a Korean Air Boeing 747-300 accident that killed 228 passengers and crew in 1997, when the jet crashed into hills near Guam.

The US report concluded the probable cause was the pilot's failure to brief his crew that the ILS system was out of order, after receiving a pre-flight notice.

Mr Wyness, a pilot for nearly 35 years, said pilots were taught that if there was no warning, then the system was working.

The Korean Air cockpit voice recorder clearly showed that the pilots were confused about the state of the ILS moments before the crash.

The Air NZ emergency followed a similar pattern.

The plane went on to automatic pilot and followed the landing signal, a guiding beam through which the plane flies. But the signal had been adjusted for maintenance and showed a deceptively wide beam, with the pilots believing they were on course.

When the automatic pilot was engaged at 3000 feet, the plane began slowly to descend five miles too soon.

The airliner was at 400 feet when it should have been at 2000 feet before the three pilots saw the lights of the nearby island. Within seconds, they pulled up and landed the aircraft manually.


4th Oct 2002, 23:53
A more accurate version of events can be found here:


5th Oct 2002, 09:14
You can see the actual CAA report at their website:

http://www.caa.govt.nz/Occurrences/00-2518.htm (http://)

And of course the above story was done by the NZ Herald, so it's obviously a piece of s**t!

My favorite part is about the ILS being turned off on the aircraft for maintenance! :rolleyes:

I think the NZ Herald should definitely get an award for the most ill-researched aviation writing in the country - if not the world.

Far Canard
5th Oct 2002, 10:33
I liked the piece in the CAA news.

"... a tragic accident was averted in this case only by the actions of an alert and quick-thinking crew."

Then it shows the profile they flew - down to what appears to be minimas at 5.8 IAP DME.

It should have read "... a tragic accident was averted in this case by the ground appearing and the very non-alert crew suddenly becoming extremely alert."

:confused: :confused: :confused:

5th Oct 2002, 11:10
Eeeeeerm this type of incident/near disaster isn't confined to Air NZ.

We had an Oz B727 crew descending on an incorrectly set aid, that was 60 plus nm from the destination rather than at, after being cleared to a level that would have put them into the hills rather than the circuit, had they continued.

On the ball Radar and Tower folk saved the day, but it was that close.

6th Oct 2002, 05:19
Yes, gaunty , I remember the incident. That was one of the first human factor real life "examples" at the time. Every capital city in Australia had their DME allocated channel 5. Perth, however, was allocated channel 2. Pingelly, the station that was 60 plus nmls east of Perth was channel 5. The crew tuned the DME to channel 5 (presuming Capital city) and that was it, proceeded to let down on that station.

Only the situational awareness of Perth ATC saved the day. They thought it strange there could be such a large difference in descent points between two 727s, on the same route, headed for the same destination and eventually asked questioned.

6th Oct 2002, 12:06

Thats the one and yup it was THAT close.

I remember breakng into a cold sweat just thinking about the consequences.

Mind you and as a matter of interest the old Van X and its ancestor the steam driven Van 5, in fact all DME was an Oz invention, yup good 'ol AWA God Bless em, and there was a limit on the number of aircraft that could interrogate the same DME due to the gate width, can't remember the number offhand (wasn't very high) but it was rapidly saturating at the time.:)

How far we have come so quickly.