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Comments:A really good website which makes you think back to the awful tragedy which we all should know about in nz because air nz is our plane, our history. Before I came to this website i didn't know anything about that tragedy except that it happened and it was bad obviously. I will tell my friends about this website and I' m sure they'll have a look. Great read and very interesting. Thanks
Visit Date:29/06/2009
Name:Kathryn Collins
Comments:Thank you to the ALPA team for the immense effort that has gone in to the production of this website , and all those who have contributed by their hard work into making this valuable resource available for people to access all over the world. The sacrifices made by so many of the living in order to remember those who died ,and to find reasons for why they died ,is a testament to the strength and courage of the human spirit. These people worked extremely hard in often very adverse conditions in order to find out why TE901 ,with an experienced competent ,senior aircrew on board, crashed in broad daylight on the side of Mt Erebus in the Antarctic on Nov 28 1979. It is their accounts, the work of Gordon Vette on visual sector whiteout, Peter Mahon's understanding of the complexity of the case, and the likes of Greg Gilpin and Stuart Leightons' experience of the circumstances encountered on the ice that have helped complete the picture presented here. I would like to thank Keith Pattie, Paul Lyons and Mark Rammell of ALPA to name a few for all the effort over the years that they have put in toward supporting this outcome, and those members of ALPA whose names I would like to mention ,if I only knew them all. For us to lose our dearly loved father and husband Capt Jim Collins in such circumstances was something we never thought possible and was emotionally devastating . He was an extremely meticulous pilot ,a methodical and careful planner and navigator ,and didnt take unnecessary risks. He was also a great Dad spending lots of time with his children. He knew aircraft backwards ,having also been an airframe mechanic in the airforce before becoming a pilot and was very respectful of machinery and all interactions with it. He loved flying ,was kind to people and had a great sense of humour, and great humility. He didnt deserve what fate provided him with and probably nor did we or the others who died with him, but if out of his death can come something that helps others then he would have been pleased , and it helps me to think that perhaps others can learn from this experience.
Visit Date:29/06/2009
Name:Paul Lyons
Comments:While there are some who have the view that the Erebus tragedy was simply 'pilot error', it has long been known that failures in complex transport systems are rarely if ever simple. The vital point we must take from any accident on the scale of Erebus is the understanding of all factors leading to the event and developing strategies to prevent a repeat. Erebus was a significant event in New Zealand's aviation history and if we are to learn from it, we must never forget what factors led to it. The NZALPA website gives the opportunity for any visitor, whether child or adult, to study the event and come to their own conclusions.
Visit Date:28/06/2009
Name:John Blanch
Comments:Met Gordon years ago and was intrigued by the entire case. Also appalled by some of the behaviour of ANZ management at that time, and the air safety investigation approach that was at best simplistic. Very moved by Justice Mahon's phrase "orchestrated litany of lies". This must never be allowed to happen again.
Visit Date:28/06/2009
Name:George Webb
Comments:Very information and interesting site, congratulations on all the hard work to put it together. Thank you so much for providing this as a valuable resource.
Visit Date:28/06/2009
Comments:I disagree totally with this whole story. The simple causal aspect which led to this crash was the decision by Jim Collins to continue descent when he had not established the aircraft's position. Note: (Comments of a personal nature have been edited from this posting.) I was in Montreal at ICAO when the Mahon Report came out and the Head of Operations there said to me "What on earth is going on down there in NZ?' From Page 185 of my book "Noble Chance" I have long ago expressed my views regarding this whole sad event. I trust this "blog" will help some aspect of reality regarding aviation safety to become understood by the airmen of today; many of whom seem to have forgotten "airmanship" in favour of "playstation" attitudes. Maurice McGreal FRAeS
Visit Date:27/06/2009
Name:Roger Chua
Comments:Very good website and a story well told. A fitting memorial for those who perished. A good reminder that all in aviation should strive for zero accidents and when accidents do happen, the why must be pursued relentlessly and tirelessly to prevent a recurrence. I will alert my blog ( readers to this website by putting up a posting.
Visit Date:26/06/2009
Name:Dennis Gordge
Location:South Africa
Comments:Well done on the website. And thank you for improving the Accident Investigation ethos for all of us.
Visit Date:26/06/2009
Name:david bartoli
Location:Florence, Italy
Comments: Another sad story with a huge loss of lives. And once again all aviation learnt a lot from this. great site.
Visit Date:26/06/2009
Name:Karl Vette
Location:Hong Kong
Comments:Fantastic site, a huge amount of dedicated work, aviation thanks you all. For those who 'stood out' and spoke the truth risking everything, we honour you. Dad, I am very proud.
Visit Date:26/06/2009
Name:Gordon & Charmaine Vette
Comments:Well done, NZALPA. A mammoth task, a brilliant website. Thank you for making this information available to everyone.
Visit Date:26/06/2009
Name:Paul Mccarthy
Location:ICAO Montreal
Comments:This site provides me with a depth of understanding of the entire subject that was not possible before. For all who have worked on the aftermath of the accident it is a sobering reminder of why we do such work. Thanks to NZ ALPA for your unflinching dedication to the cause over all these years. I only wish we could correct the record here. Perhaps some day the truth will finally be recorded.
Visit Date:26/06/2009
Name:Terry Clapham
Location:Upper Hutt
Comments:This site is a wonderful memorial to a sad chapter of New Zealand history. It is apparent that a great deal of work has gone into the making of the site and the NZALPA deserve praise for their enterprise. I well remember the evening following the disappearance of the flight when the nation collectively held its breath, hoping for the reappearance that never happened. The TV image of Morrie Davis' ashen face conceding the flight was lost when all fuel would have been exhausted. I followed every facet of the tragedy culminating in my purchase of Justice Peter Mahon's report, a document I treasure to this day and still read from time to time. An amazingly detailed and thorough investigation. I still think from time to time of Captain Collins looking at the school atlas the evening before the flight, little knowing that the first seed of this tragedy had already been sown. The devastation Mrs Collins must have felt, not only for the loss of a loved husband but also for the implication of the content of the Chippenberger report. We count the victims of such tragedies by counting the dead. Should we not also add in the loved ones of the dead, the recovery team and many others? One wonders what the real victim count was, thousands I would imagine. And many still suffer. Bless you all - we must learn from these events by exposing the truth. Peter Mahon did just that.
Visit Date:25/06/2009
Name:Donald Anderson, Assistant Director Medals Policy
Location:HQ NZ Defence Force, Wellington
Comments:Thank you for providing such a comprehensive resource. Well done to all involved. For information on the medal the NZ Government instituted in 2006 for those involved in the body recovery, crash investigation and victim identification phases of Operation Overdue see the NZ Defence Force medals website: The medal is the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Erebus). Applications for the medal can still be made. Eligibility and application details are on the web page given above. To the editors of this site: please feel free to add the photos of the medal to your website if you want to. I will add a link from the NZDF medals site to your site in the next few days.
Visit Date:25/06/2009
Name:Jose Linares
Comments:Congratulations to the website team. It has been a great learning experience. It not only consists in being a worthy and professional airman, but all of who are involved in flight operations should be. May we be confindent about they are, everywhere, everytime?.
Visit Date:25/06/2009
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