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Mt Erebus Disaster 40th Anniversary

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Mt Erebus Disaster 40th Anniversary

Old 27th Nov 2019, 04:59
  #81 (permalink)  
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And the 'over two hundred people killed' were killed as a result of a series of events, a very complicated series of events. Not just one person brought that DC10 down.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 05:03
  #82 (permalink)  
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I reckon the pigman was overpaid.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 06:01
  #83 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ampan View Post
Please do a little bit more research and then come back with you summation of "all the evidence" and what it might seem to suggest. I have read all the evidence, many times. But the reason why I am so confident about this point is that the briefing had an audio-visual section, with an audio-taped part, where a man reads things out from a transcript. Now get this: I HAVE THE TRANSCRIPT! Anyone can get it. I have the exhibit number if any of you "intellectually lazy" twits can be bothered spending a bi of time on this.

I repeat: At the briefing, Collins was told that the track went to McMurdo Station. And I repeat, there was no issue about this.
You place a lot of emphasis on the text of the briefing. The tape may well have voiced "McMurdo STATION" but that would've only been heard ONCE by the briefing attendees at a time when they were unfamiliar with the area and coming to learn of it, and certainly not familiar with the nuances of McMurdo Sound, McMurdo Station (the base), the McMurdo Station TACAN, the McMurdo Station NDB, or the 3 airfields Pegasus Field, William Field (the McMurdo Station Skiway) , or the Ice Runway. Whatever knowledge they gained would have been more likely to have been acquired by any printed material which they would've had the opportunity to read multiple times rather than a spoken word at the beginning of a briefing to which they had no context or means to recall (short of playing the tape again). The 3 maps at the route briefing Annex F had a McMurdo Station Tacan noted but a route line drawn down the middle of McMurdo Sound, Annex G referred to McMurdo Sound and had a line drawn down McMurdo Sound, Annex H had a line drawn towards McMurdo Sound and circled around two dots labelled McMurdo Station & Scott Base, that line did not go direct to McMurdo Station (if indeed that is what one of the dots represented. None of the 3 lines on the maps at the briefing went directly over Mt Erebus to McMurdo station. Annex I given to them on the morning had two McMurdo Stations listed and again no line drawn over Erebus to either of these two McMurdo Stations. The two printed flights plan, one at the route briefing, the one the day of the flight both said "McMurdo"although limited to 8 characters they couldn'y say "McMurdo Station", "McMurdo" NDB etc. The only map that had a straight line from Cape Hallett to McMurdo Station was Annex J from the route briefing but that had NO reference to topographical features. Annex J also says "For detail within the McMurdo Area see blow up" but I have not seen the blow-up if there is one. AFAIK no map was even given that accurately showed the route overlaid with topographical features.

So back to my original point I don't think you can place that much weight to what was said in an aural briefing that they would've heard once with no background context, when the main point of knowledge building would've been the maps they had been given and could look at multiple times to build a picture in their mind.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 06:06
  #84 (permalink)  
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Was the captain blameless?
No, of course he wasn't blameLESS, but neither was he blameFUL.

Pilot error ? The pilot makes the last error.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 06:06
  #85 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ampan View Post
Here is something new: Does anyone remember the controversy about the missing pages of Collins' small black ring-binder diary? It was thought that the missing pages might contain a note that Jim made of the co-ordinates presented at the briefing,

According to a very-reliable source, the pages did, indeed, contain notes made by Jim. But the notes were not of co-ordinates. They were phone numbers of Jim's girlfriend's - hence Bruce Crosbie's decision to bin the notes.
On the podcast yesterday or the day before, Mrs Collins was aware of that, spoke of it, and dismissed it with an innocuous reason. The policeman who found the notepad on the ice was of the opinion that the numbers were of a lat/lon format and other formats which he did not recognise, I think if they were names of ports/woman/phone numbers I think a policeman would've recognised it as that.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 07:07
  #86 (permalink)  
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Why the debate?

The Honorable Justice Mahon cleared Collins and his crew of any blame, Air NZ and the NZ government cleared Collins and his crew of any blame (by their puerile attempts to withhold or destroy crucial evidence with their infantile, orchestrated "litany of lies") and the NZ public finally accepted the findings in the Mahon Report to be the final and truthful account of the disaster.

May I borrow some pebbles please Dark Knight ?
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 08:03
  #87 (permalink)  
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Having read all the available evidence I find myself agreeing with Justice Mahon and NZ APLA

I also am coming to believe that Anpan is an unhinged lunatic. Maybe time to give it a rest champ. No-one is listening.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 08:09
  #88 (permalink)  
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Marbles lost - can anyone help to find them?

I think there are a few pages missing from ampanís black notebook! Crumbs old timer, you have lost the plot completely lost your marbles. Turning your anger so viciously on Justice Mahon and Jim Collins is childish. You are very angry and very emotional mate.

And ampan, I doubt very much that you didnít realise Pip Collins was still around these days, considering how much you allegedly know intimately about the accident and subsequent activities. You are playing the man, not the ball. What numbers do you keep in your ring binder - Labor party politicians by chance??
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 09:36
  #89 (permalink)  
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Happy birthday. Pilot error.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 10:46
  #90 (permalink)  
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Turning your anger so viciously on Justice Mahon and Jim Collins is childish. You are very angry and very emotional mate.
As someone who is completely disinterested (check the dictionary those who are unsure of the meaning of the word) of the incident I must say I tend to agree with the above quote.

Taily; You are showing quite the restraint!
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 12:43
  #91 (permalink)  
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I think Ampans comments can be dispensed with as axe grinding with no useful insights that would leave any the wiser.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 13:26
  #92 (permalink)  
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It's actually quite a good thread. ampan's multiple bias are crystal clear. The logical and curious discussion is painting quite the picture of him.

20 years old at the time of the accident, it's certainly got me curious as to his part?

If you delete all of the insults and very directed, personal attacks his viewpoint is interesting.

Tailwheel has no reason to lock this thread, so stop trying to lead it that way. If you are disinterested Pinky, you know what they say.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 14:35
  #93 (permalink)  
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A few points, as professionals spare a thought for Ampan who has a deep seated almost obsessional resentment/hate for TE, the crew, the Justice, and any one who is not in agreement with his views. To a minuscule degree he has a point but his post at 100 and his comment about Mrs Collins is the lowest demonstration of a lack of professionalism even seen in this site. Ampan. it best you either come clean about your anger,or get blocked or just disappear and try to overcome the demons you continue to deal with. And mate EVERYONE who was involved in this at any level in TE or any other organization, the families, have demons but seem to manage them better than you do. The post at 98 gives you what you want. Perhaps its now time to PFO and move on.

Secondly, there is a factual agreement that the coordinates were changed for this flight and those unannounced/uncommunicated changes were input by the crew into the FMS. Why, because they were trained to do that, it's done for all flights, believe in the system, trust it...? So why was this change not shared with the crew? Conversation would be Oh by the way Capt we changed a few things but we did not tell you, but thats ok, it will come out at the accident and it will be your fault. Enjoy the flight, tee crew bus is waiting and we don't the flight to be delayed.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 14:39
  #94 (permalink)  
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Interesting documentary from 1990 with Vette's analysis. Many here would have seen it but it was a first for me and although a bit old fashioned by today's standards, the message is well presented. It makes my responsibility compass shift away from Capt. Collins. Obviously we're always wiser after the fact
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 16:06
  #95 (permalink)  
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Please pardon the intrusion with my stray thoughts worth not much more than one penny if that. Seems to me :

Erebus is the god of darkness . In this case a suitably inauspicious name for this very tragic accident.
As the commander is ultimately responsible for the safe conduct of the flight we can say that Captain Collins did fail in this respect.

And he paid for it with his life.

it was not the first time a Captain failed and paid for it with his life. There have been many incidents.

He was however set up for failure with a trap he did not realize until it was too late.

I think it was not prudent to set the waypoint anywhere near flying over Erebus. And it was criminal to not inform the crew.

This was a very highly specialized flight in an extremely remote area with patchy radar coverage in possible extreme weather conditions where at some point very low level flying will commence with probable heavy cloud cover. All parties should have been in agreement the exact plan of action and alternate and a point where the mission should be aborted no questions asked.

This was not what transpired on this mission.

Last edited by armchairpilot94116; 27th Nov 2019 at 19:18. Reason: Adding
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 19:16
  #96 (permalink)  
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This is one so very tragic aircraft loss that will forever be shrouded in controversy.
Let us all put aside our differing views on this incident & just for to day, remember all those who sadly perished 40 years ago. We should also remember the families & friends of those who were on the DC10 that day.
RIP & God Bless you all.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 19:39
  #97 (permalink)  
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Air NZ's missing flight path evidence confirms 'orchestrated litany of lies' over Erebus - Judge Gary Harrison

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Old 27th Nov 2019, 20:54
  #98 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by reubee View Post
With this Herald/NZ On Air effort there was an error or two in the first few episodes, and I didn't think much of the interview of the US Navy Navigator who claimed to talk to the crew, don't recall seeing that conversation in the CVR transcript.
The navigator quoted in the podcast excerpt below was from the U.S. Air Force, not the Navy. If Lieutenant Knock's narrative given in the podcast is correct the radio call probably came after the crash had ended the CVR recording.

The C-141 crew refueled at McMurdo and attempted unsuccessfully to find the crash site before returning to Christchurch. They also met with the Minister of Transportation and the media according to this passage from Operation Deep Freeze 50 Years of U.S. Air Force Airlift in Antarctica 1956-2006:

A 60 MAW C‑141 carried 14 distinguished visitors to McMurdo Sound and back to Christchurch on 28 November for a commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Admiral Byrdís first flight over the South Pole. The distinguished visitors, invited by the National Science Foundation, included political figures and senior scientists, but also included two members of Byrdís expedition, Dr. Laurence M. Gould and Mr. Norman D. Vaughan, and Byrdís grandson, Mr. Robert Breyer.

This high‑visibility mission soon became even more extraordinary. This flight flew approximately 45 minutes behind an Air New Zealand tourist DC‑10 (Flight 901). Flight 901 was scheduled to fly to Antarctica, circle around Mount Erebus (about 20 miles from McMurdo Sound), and return to New Zealand. Because of the proximity of this commercial aircraft and similar route, the aircraft commander, Major Bruce L. Gumble, maintained communication with the DC‑10 and monitored its position. As the DC‑10 began to descend for its low‑altitude circle around Mount Erebus, all radio contact was lost and presumed crashed.

After landing at McMurdo Sound, Naval personnel requested Major Gumble take on extra fuel and assist in a search and rescue operation. After taking off, the C‑141 conducted a low‑altitude (1,500 to 3,000 feet) visual search around Ross Island. The C‑141 began turning towards what was later confirmed as the crash site when poor weather closed in making further visual observations impossible. Upon arrival back at Christchurch, Major Gumble and the navigator, 1st Lieutenant Marlin A. Knock, met with the New Zealand Minister of Transportation and with local reporters concerning the crash.

A Navy LC‑130 aircrew identified the crash site on the side of Mount Erebus on 29 November. All 257 passengers and crew lost their lives.
Lieutenant Knock's account of the warning to the Air New Zealand crew from the Litany of Lies podcast:

For the first time ever, a US navigator has revealed his panicked alert to the crew of the doomed Air NZ flight to Erebus. First lieutenant Marlin Knock was flying 40 minutes behind Flight 901 on a C-141 Starlifter.

It was Wednesday November 28 1979. As they reached Antarctica, the pilots of both planes were in regular contact. But when Knock plotted the Air New Zealand DC10 course, he realised they were headed straight for Erebus in cloud conditions. "What I had realised [was] they were headed straight for the mountain going down," says Knock. Forty years later he says his heart still races when he recalls urging his crew on the flight deck to: "call them back now".

Knock recounts the scene on the Starlifter in the moments before the crash. "We called them [Flight 901], we got a hold of them and we were talking with them, saying 'how was it?' They said 'well we're here now and we're flying, but it's overcast over the area'. So our guys go: 'Where are you located?' They gave me a position which I plotted and they said they were descending to 5000 feet. Which made my heart stop, because I stopped and I went 'they're pretty close to Erebus.' I said 'call them back, call them back now'. What I realised, they were headed straight for the mountain, going down. I said 'they're headed towards the mountain and they're descending. There's no way they're going to make it'.

"That's when they got back on the horn to call them. One of my pilots called; we got no answer. [I was] in shock, pretty much. Because I knew that they were gone, but there was no proof of it. But I had this feeling, and I was like 'I can't believe this.'

"Basically we heard nothing else from them. When we landed [at McMurdo Base], we talked to the tower. We said: 'have you heard anything from them'? They said no. They said 'we're going to need some help. We think they've Ö' And I said 'I think I know'.

"I brought in an aeronautical chart that I have. It gives the whole terrain on the map and the area. I put a little mark on the chart, saying 'here's where they were, and the direction, whatever. Here's where I think you're going to find them'.

"Pilots aren't navigators. Pilots use radio aids to figure out approximately where they are. They do not have the charts. They don't have the terrain charts. They have what's called the aerial knowledge of where they are in the whole works Ö But as far as being able to plot it on a chart, I don't believe they had a chance."


The C-141 is referenced in the original aircraft accident report but no mention is made of Knock's 'panicked alert' which he now recalls in the podcast. He comments that pilots are not navigators (the second part of the obvious antimetabole also holds true in most cases). However, as discussed above and in the accident report Captain Collins did have a lapsed navigator's license.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 21:33
  #99 (permalink)  
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Here's Major Gumble's interview on returning to Christchurch after the DC-10 crash. He makes no mention of an attempt to warn the airliner of the terrain ahead.

At Christchurch airport on the night of the Erebus disaster, US Air Force Lockheed C-141A Starlifter pilot Major Bruce Gumble describes losing contact with Flight TE901.

Major Bruce Gumble: We were about 40 minutes behind the 901 Flight going into McMurdo and we'd been in touch with him by radio because we wanted to make sure that our flight paths didn't interfere with one other as he came back out of the area.

We followed essentially the same route. We descended below the clouds for our landing at McMurdo and we hadn't heard from him in some time and there was beginning to be some suspicion that something might have gone wrong. So we took a look around as we went in. We saw nothing and as we left McMurdo again we took on extra fuel to allow us to remain in the area at low altitude and search for some time. We saw nothing at all in any area that we thought might've been a likely place for the aircraft to be. There were also two C-130s and a couple of helicopters searching the area when we left. We would've liked to have stayed but our fuel wouldn't permit it. We had to come on back here.

The weather was partly cloudy. The bases were at approximately 5000 ft, tops at around 16,000. Rather warm for down there, only minus 4 degrees centigrade. Nearly a summer day and not much wind.

1st reporter: How easy would it be for a plane to land on the ice?

Major Bruce Gumble: Well we do it intentionally when we go down there. Of course it's a prepared runway; they grade the snow off it for us. But in many places the ice will support the weight of an airplane. It's not easy but it can be done.

The last radio contact that we had was just prior to that. His last transmission I believe was to McMurdo approach control.

2nd reporter: Was there any indication that anything was wrong at that stage?

Major Bruce Gumble: We heard no such indication, no.

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Old 27th Nov 2019, 23:20
  #100 (permalink)  
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I hope the new generation of Captains/First Officers coming through now, who are reading this and learning about Erebus for the first time, spend some time trying to understand this crash as it can ( and did for me fifteen years or so ago) bring in to focus the purpose, the theory, the importance, of Minimum Safe Altitudes and the Captains responsibility in relation to them.
Regardless of the degree to which Collins was ‘set up’, and without getting emotional about it, have a think about your own personal approach to this responsibility.. Have a think about the errors from management, software designers, flight planning departments, Engineers loading data into your computers, etc that you are expected to absorb and mitigate while under time pressure. Have a think about how you will react when the theory and purpose of these rules and procedures is opposed by ‘group think’ or company culture/expectations, or a forceful air traffic controller. Develop a strong and clear position now in the comfort of your lounge room chair so that you don’t have to search for that position while doing 300kts.
Your job isn’t to prevent Engineers and software developers and flight planning departments from making errors, it’s to expect and mitigate them.
None of the above is a slur on Collins, it was a different time with different training and knowledge and technology. Collins didn’t have the opportunity to study this crash, we do. Our best way as pilots to honour the memory of all onboard is to take the lessons and apply them in a practical way to our modern flying environment.
If you just spend an hour or two reading about this it’s easy to flop into one camp or another, you need to go a bit deeper than that (like many here have done before) and look at it from a few different angles.
I hope some of you do, it’s worth it.
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