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New Information about an Old Icey Topic

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New Information about an Old Icey Topic

Old 22nd Nov 2018, 09:23
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New Information about an Old Icey Topic

Last month’s edition of ‘Police News’, the magazine of the NZ Police Association, quotes two persons based at different locations near Mount Erebus on 28 November 1979 who explicitly warned the careful captain to avoid the area:

"A small but significant reunion was held in Wellington last month when three Antarctic veterans, two of them former police officers, gathered to reminisce about their time on the ice in the late 1970s. Top of mind for the trio was the 40th anniversary of the Erebus crash, due to be commemorated on November 28 next year. The circumstances surrounding New Zealand’s worst aviation disaster and the ensuing controversial enquiries about its causes are of particular interest to them because they were all there when it happened. Geophysicist Gary Lewis was the team leader at Vanda Station and Senior Constable Ted Robinson was the second in command at nearby Scott Base … What has been troubling Gary and Ted in that time, however, is what happened before the crash that claimed the lives of 257 people. “There were some of us in Antarctica who were communicating with the DC10 pilot by HF radio prior to the crash and have recollections that paint a slightly different picture,” Gary says. Indeed, it’s a picture that has apparently never been fully recorded in official accounts of the tragedy and that has been bothering these men. Ted says he did tell authorities at the time about their communications with the plane’s crew, warning of whiteout conditions and suggesting an alternative route, but it appears that wasn’t considered relevant to the post-crash inquiries. The reasons why that might have been the case have also been a source of concern for the two men, now in their late seventies. The day that Air New Zealand Flight TE901 crashed into Mt Erebus during a sightseeing tour, Gary and Ted were both on duty. They knew about the tourist flight and that it was going to be heading close to them to look at Ross Island in McMurdo Sound. “But,” says Ted, “we knew there were whiteout conditions there. I had already curtailed any activity, such as helicopters, around the island andI advised the TE901 pilot to not come anywhere near Ross Island.” When the crew was about an hour north of Ross Island, Ted suggested to pilot Jim Collins that he, instead, divert to fly over the dry valley region, near Vanda Station, which was clear. Ted recollects that the crew acknowledged his call, but he did not hear from them again. “I became quite concerned from then on,” he says. Meanwhile, 75 nautical miles away at Vanda, Gary had also communicated with the flight crew. Supporting Ted’s stance, he also suggested a change of course. “I proffered incentives by advising the pilot that our signalling mirrors had the ability to attract the attention of aircraft at 100 miles in clear weather, so there would be no difficulty in pinpointing Vanda among the rocky mountains and valleys due to our ability to project bright flashes over a long distance.” Gary says he explained that the Ross Island whiteout was local and that there was clear, sunny weather over the Wright Valley with spectacular views to be had from the air. “The pilot’s response was, ‘Sounds good, we might fly over that way’.” That contact was noted in the station radio log at 1156 on November 28 – 53 minutes before impact.”

https://policeassn.org.nz/system/fil...ber%202018.pdf
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Old 23rd Dec 2021, 22:54
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Still doesn't explain why the route was changed the night before and Jim and his crew were not informed. Doesn't explain the toxic safety culture of Air New Zealand's flight department at the time in relation to Antarctic flights and doesn't explain the bizarre "litany of lies" , presented to the Mahon inquiry, by senior ANZ management.

I'll bet old Ted and Gary are still chewing the fat over numerous police stories at the "Bobby Bar" on a Friday night!
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Old 23rd Dec 2021, 23:17
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Originally Posted by ampan View Post
Last month’s edition of ‘Police News’, the magazine of the NZ Police Association, quotes two persons based at different locations near Mount Erebus on 28 November 1979 who explicitly warned the careful captain to avoid the area:

"A small but significant reunion was held in Wellington last month when three Antarctic veterans, two of them former police officers, gathered to reminisce about their time on the ice in the late 1970s. Top of mind for the trio was the 40th anniversary of the Erebus crash, due to be commemorated on November 28 next year. The circumstances surrounding New Zealand’s worst aviation disaster and the ensuing controversial enquiries about its causes are of particular interest to them because they were all there when it happened. Geophysicist Gary Lewis was the team leader at Vanda Station and Senior Constable Ted Robinson was the second in command at nearby Scott Base … What has been troubling Gary and Ted in that time, however, is what happened before the crash that claimed the lives of 257 people. “There were some of us in Antarctica who were communicating with the DC10 pilot by HF radio prior to the crash and have recollections that paint a slightly different picture,” Gary says. Indeed, it’s a picture that has apparently never been fully recorded in official accounts of the tragedy and that has been bothering these men. Ted says he did tell authorities at the time about their communications with the plane’s crew, warning of whiteout conditions and suggesting an alternative route, but it appears that wasn’t considered relevant to the post-crash inquiries. The reasons why that might have been the case have also been a source of concern for the two men, now in their late seventies. The day that Air New Zealand Flight TE901 crashed into Mt Erebus during a sightseeing tour, Gary and Ted were both on duty. They knew about the tourist flight and that it was going to be heading close to them to look at Ross Island in McMurdo Sound. “But,” says Ted, “we knew there were whiteout conditions there. I had already curtailed any activity, such as helicopters, around the island andI advised the TE901 pilot to not come anywhere near Ross Island.” When the crew was about an hour north of Ross Island, Ted suggested to pilot Jim Collins that he, instead, divert to fly over the dry valley region, near Vanda Station, which was clear. Ted recollects that the crew acknowledged his call, but he did not hear from them again. “I became quite concerned from then on,” he says. Meanwhile, 75 nautical miles away at Vanda, Gary had also communicated with the flight crew. Supporting Ted’s stance, he also suggested a change of course. “I proffered incentives by advising the pilot that our signalling mirrors had the ability to attract the attention of aircraft at 100 miles in clear weather, so there would be no difficulty in pinpointing Vanda among the rocky mountains and valleys due to our ability to project bright flashes over a long distance.” Gary says he explained that the Ross Island whiteout was local and that there was clear, sunny weather over the Wright Valley with spectacular views to be had from the air. “The pilot’s response was, ‘Sounds good, we might fly over that way’.” That contact was noted in the station radio log at 1156 on November 28 – 53 minutes before impact.”

https://policeassn.org.nz/system/fil...ber%202018.pdf
The link doesn't work. (for me at least) Try this...

https://www.policeassn.org.nz/news/e...ings-ignored#/
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Old 24th Dec 2021, 09:35
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'signalling mirrors'....WTF?

Ted and Gary's most excellent adventure.


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Old 24th Dec 2021, 12:37
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The heliograph would only have been used if they lost mobile phone reception!
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 03:13
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3 Holer: "Jim" was told. He was told of two different routes. The first had the waypoint at McMurdo Station. Jim was told about this route at the briefing. The second route had the waypoint 27 miles west. Jim found out about this route just before his flight, via an old flight plan. This is the route he flew, into the side of a mountain.

Jim was a very bad pilot.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 04:29
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Jim was told was he ? By whom ? Don't recall this information appearing in the Chippendale (or Mahon) report. As for any information Jim may have been given at the route briefing, that was hotly disputed by other pilots who attended the briefing. If Jim was a very bad pilot, how was it that the aces at Air NZ flight ops management allowed Jim to command a flight to Antarctica, or to anywhere for that matter. One thing that can be determined with certainty from this tragedy, is that Air NZ flight ops management of the time were a complete and utter bunch of incompetent arseclowns and will be remembered not only for their abject failure in the safe management of an Airline, but also for their pathetic attempt at a coverup.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 05:03
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Originally Posted by slice View Post
Jim was told was he ? By whom ? Don't recall this information appearing in the Chippendale (or Mahon) report. As for any information Jim may have been given at the route briefing, that was hotly disputed by other pilots who attended the briefing. If Jim was a very bad pilot, how was it that the aces at Air NZ flight ops management allowed Jim to command a flight to Antarctica, or to anywhere for that matter. One thing that can be determined with certainty from this tragedy, is that Air NZ flight ops management of the time were a complete and utter bunch of incompetent arseclowns and will be remembered not only for their abject failure in the safe management of an Airline, but also for their pathetic attempt at a coverup.

Route 1: At the briefing, Jim was told that the final waypoint was at McMurdo Station. That is a fact. Mahon accepted it. I suggest that you do too.

Route 2: Somehow, somewhere, Jim got an old flightplan showing the waypoint 27 miles west of McMurdo Station. This is the route he flew. We know this because ho locked the aircraft back onto the nav track and smashed it to pieces.

The captain received conflicting information about the final waypoint, and he did not resolve the conflict. .

The penny dropped about four seconds before he died, when he turned left to get out, so I take some comfort in his having gone to his death in the realisation of how reckless he had been.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 07:00
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Originally Posted by ampan View Post
… so I take some comfort in his having gone to his death in the realisation of how reckless he had been.
Wow. Seek counselling. That level of bitterness isn’t healthy.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 07:06
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Originally Posted by Keg View Post
Wow. Seek counselling. That level of bitterness isn’t healthy.
"bitterness"? I would be bitter if he met his maker in blissful ignorance. I'm comforted that he did not.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 08:23
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This is a real award, not a sick joke. It demonstrates my point about the left turn. The track on the left is where the captain thought he was. Why, then, did he turn left to get out, especially when his co-pilot had told him it was clear to the right?
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 09:18
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The penny dropped about four seconds before he died, when he turned left to get out, so I take some comfort in his having gone to his death in the realisation of how reckless he had been.
I have just read the accident reports I could find on line, in response to your uncharitable comment.
The report I read stated that the aircraft was wings level when it struck the side of Mt Erebus.
Can you provide a link to your claim that they were “turning left to get out”?

https://www.fss.aero/accident-report...9-11-28-NZ.pdf

Paragraph 1.12.5 and 2.18
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 09:38
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Chippendale Report p82;

"Eight seconds prior to impact and two seconds before the GPWS warning sounded, the roll mode FMA changed from 'NAV track' to 'Heading Select' as the 'Heading Select' knob was pulled out . This would be done to turn the aircraft through the auto-pilot and followed a discussion by the pilots which way to turn to get out of their present position. The co-pilot said 'it's clear to turn to the right' but the Captain contradicted him. Immediately the heading select knob was pulled out the aircraft commenced to roll to the right. The right roll which was also evidenced by movement of ailerons and spoilers which reached a maximum of 11 degrees bank 3.5 seconds before impact. The roll was then reversed, as the pilot attempted to commence a left turn."

Last edited by ampan; 23rd Jan 2022 at 09:42. Reason: typo
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 09:42
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Attempted to commence a left turn….or rolling left from a right turn to level the wings?

Either way the report noted the aircraft was wings level at impact with a nose up attitude in response to the GPWS.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 09:49
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ampan you had more than your share of discussion on this topic in this thread of yours, and seem to have returned to beat the same empty drum.

Thread closed.
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