Accident Brief, Occurrence # 03/1674

Registration:  ZK-NCA Nature of Flight:  TRANSPORT PASSENGER A TO B
Aircraft Model:  Piper PA-31-350 Pilot Licence:  Commercial Pilot Licence (Aeroplane)
Date and Time:  06 Jun 03 at 19:07 Pilot Age:  52 yrs
Location:  Christchurch Airport Flying Hours (Total):  4321
POB:  10 Flying Hours (on Type):  820
Injuries (Fatal):  8 Last 90 Days:  82
Injuries (Serious):  2 TAIC Ref.:  03-004
Injuries (Minor):  nil Publishing Ref.:  Vector May/June 05
Damage:  Destroyed Date Published:  21 Apr 05


On Friday 6 June 2003, Air Adventures New Zealand Limited Piper PA 31-350 Navajo Chieftain aeroplane ZK-NCA was on an air transport charter flight from Palmerston North to Christchurch with one pilot and nine passengers. At 19:07 it was on an instrumentapproach to Christchurch Aerodrome at night in instrument meteorological conditions when it descended below minimum altitude, in a position where reduced visibility prevented runway or approach lights from being seen, to collide with trees and terrain 1.2 nm short of the runway. The pilot and seven passengers were killed, and two passengers received serious injury. The aircraft was destroyed. The accident probably resulted from the pilot becoming distracted from monitoring his altitude at a critical stage of the approach. The possibility of pilot incapacitation is considered unlikely, but cannot be ruled out.