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CURRENT ENTRIES

Name:
John Fuhring
Location:
California
Comments:
I was a graduate teaching assistant to Dr. John Houghton in the Geography Department of the University of Nevada, Reno. He was a wonderful guy and it was an honor to work with him and teach his physical geography labs and sometimes stand in for him at the lectures. He had a great sense of adventure and he traveled all over the world, making friends with the academics he met in distant places. The University and the Department was shocked and deeply saddened by his untimely loss, but I have always felt that ending on Mt. Erebus on a "Flight to the End of the World" is exactly how he would want to go, only he was just too young.
Visited Date:
30/11/2019
Name:
Kate Parkkari
Location:
Canada
Comments:
Thank you for the apology Madam Prime Minister. I lost my sister in this crash and it forever changed my life and my family dynamics. Also being the wife of a pilot it grieved me to think that pilot error had ever been a cause. I hope the flight crew's families feel vindicated. After 40 years I still miss my sister.
Visited Date:
29/11/2019
Name:
Ross Green
Location:
Brisbane Australia
Comments:
I was at Victoria University from the mid 70's until 1979 and I got to know Kay Dean quite well as we used to sit together in Law School. She was a wonderful young lady, charming and effervescent and we had many discussions after classes about the various topics discussed on that day.Kay was bright, intelligent and full of wit. I remember vividly, coming across Kay standing in line outside the travel agency on campus and asking her where she was going. She informed me she was purchasing seats on Air New Zealand's last flight of the year over Antarctica and there was genuine joy and anticipation on her face about the forth coming trip.I wished her well and she said she would tell me all about it when next years classes commenced, sadly it was not to be.
Visited Date:
29/11/2019
Name:
Mary Pladsen
Location:
NE Iowa USA
Comments:
I just came across this site and the story of the flights and the accident today. Very interesting. It seems to me that there are fewer plane crashes - and that is a good thing. Thank you for this site, very informative.
Visited Date:
29/11/2019
Name:
Margi Keys
Location:
Whanganui
Comments:
FInally, an official apology. So pleased that NZ prime minster Jacinda Ardern and Air NZ Chair Dame Theresa Walsh both apologised on the 40th anniversary of the disaster. The Erebus disaster has been of huge interest to me and my family, not because we lost family members or friends but because my brother Harry was involved in the recovery of the bodies. We have every book that has ever been written about the disaster and the aftermath in our collection, and have followed all the news for 40 years. A terribly tragedy that was waiting to happen. Here's to the late Peter Mahon, the lawyers involved in the inquiry, the law lords on the Privy Council and all the families who lost loved ones.
Visited Date:
29/11/2019
Name:
William O'Donnell
Location:
Feilding
Comments:
This tragedy was certainly memorable for most NZr's. I did not know for some time that my cousin, Kathleen Haworth,(Smith), & her husband Peter Haworth.had perished on this flight. Her parents Duncan & Mabel Smith, (my mum's sister), had farmed in Rangiwahia, since the 1930's, where family still farm today. This tragedy stayed with them for the rest of their lives, particularly for Duncan, who was especially fond of Kate.
Visited Date:
28/11/2019
Name:
Lisa Laugesen
Location:
NZ
Comments:
Just watched NZ Police team story working at Erebus. Such a long time for you all to be recognized. Too long Stuart Leighton and team, thank you.
Visited Date:
08/06/2019
Name:
Tommi
Location:
Taupo, New Zealand
Comments:
I am studying this terrible tragedy in history and finding this website very helpful. I feel for those families who were effected by this as we remember those who passed 40 years on.
Visited Date:
07/06/2019
Name:
Tumuta
Location:
Lagos
Comments:
A terrible tragedy amlcft@dia.govt.nz
Visited Date:
15/05/2019
Name:
Samantha
Location:
Dunedin, New Zealand
Comments:
The Erebus disaster and everything about it has always affected me very much. I recall there had been some people aboard who were there only because they had won a scenic flight to the Antarctic as a competition prize and, as a beginner writer, I therefore used this fact as my inspiration to enter a fiction piece called The Albatross and the Phoenix into the New Zealand Writers College 2018 short story competition. Achieving last place in the Writers We'd Like To See More Of was very encouraging and given that 2019 is the 40th anniversary of the tragedy, I would like to find a place online where others could read and may appreciate my effort to honour Erebus and it's victims in the only way I know how. Would this be a suitable place and if so then do I have permission? I would hate to cause offence...
Visited Date:
09/05/2019
Name:
Maggie Reid
Location:
Auckland NZ
Comments:
Remember that day forever. Cabin crew at the time. Captain Collins was so respected - I flew with Gordon Brooks just two days earlier on a Mel duty. All good people - rest in eternal light xxx
Visited Date:
04/07/2018
Name:
Mike Van In
Location:
South Africa
Comments:
Thirty eight years later, this remains an emotional read. Life is both so tenacious and yet so fragile. The personal accounts of the recovery operation were particularly absorbing.
Visited Date:
12/02/2018
Name:
Ian Phillips
Location:
Muriwai Beach
Comments:
There are aspects of this disaster that believe have not been covered and that I am still struggling with personally despite leaving the airline 18 months after the tragedy. In 1979, Air NZ had miscalculated the number of DC10 Captains that were required to operate their services scheduled in November. It was suggested that some of the services be leased as charters to other airlines, but management was adamant that the services were to be AirNZ operated. Attempts to rebuild the roster before publication weren't successful, it was an exceedingly tight roster - standby pilots could not be used as that was contrary to the agreement between the airline and ALPA. It was decided to strip training from the roster - Capt. Collins was initially scheduled to have the same training for the Antartica flights as all of the previous pilots who had flown there. This was extensive and included training/briefings with the US Air Force in Christchurch. This training resulted in several days off-line. Civil Aviation was approached for approval to rejig the training. This was given, allowing the roster to be reworked and all flights AirNZ operated due to the days freed up as a result of Cpt Collins' reduction in training. This raises two points - an error in calculating the manpower requirements was covered by reducing accepted training procedures - Civil Aviation approved the reduction in training which is tantamount to agreeing that their previous requirements were unnecessary. There is of course no guarantee that had Cpt Collins received the same training as the other pilots who had flown to Antartica, the tragedy would not of occurred. But it is a part of the tragedy that I feel has been ignored. Nothing will reverse this tragedy which has devastated so many lives, but if lessons are to be learned, it should be that when administrative miscalculations are made, pilot training should not be compromised, and from CA's point of view, training details have been put in place for a reason and they should not be varied due to the commercial issues facing an airline.
Visited Date:
27/11/2017
Name:
Aaron Ganley
Location:
Whangarei
Comments:
A prime example of a country losing its innocence. Not because of a terrible disaster, but the way our government handled it. Illegally altered CVR transcripts, burglaries of flight crews homes, important recovered documents from the crash scene going missing, the list goes on and on. Captain Collins and Justice Mahon were hung out to dry. Our country, from that moment on, can no longer consider itself free from corruption at the highest level.
Visited Date:
19/01/2017
Name:
Rod Duesing
Location:
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
Comments:
In 1975, I was severally injured in a crevasse breaking both legs. During my four year recovery I learned of this accident. Today, I finally saw the video's of the investigation. Having flown around McMurdo & the Continent, I experienced how tenuous flight operations are both by fixed wing & rotary aircraft. My heart goes out to those lost, may they rest in peace. And to all the family members, please take some solace that their loved ones were in a unique spot on earth that is closest to what I think heaven may appear. I think of them ever year, as I have mourned them with you.
Visited Date:
18/01/2017
Name:
Susan Lashbrook
Location:
Arcata, Ca. USA
Comments:
I lost my Mom, my best friend, my mentor. I was 20. She was 46. The memories of this crash bring me to me knees each November around Thanksgiving. I send my love to all of the other individuals and families who lost their people and I pray this type of air accident never repeats itself. 11-26-16
Visited Date:
27/11/2016
Name:
Michael Riley
Location:
Auckland
Comments:
Thanks to being a (then) recent immigrant to NZ, I remember being one of seemingly few people who didn't know someone on the flight. I recently watched an old documentary on the crash and found this website out of interest. I don't think the fault is as clear-cut as either Chippendale or Mahon made out. 1500 feet is brazenly low for a large jet plane, and the pilots should have started their pull up instead of chatting about being uncertain about their location. But, I think they would have just hit Erebus higher up. I am curious about the supposed flight path error. It seems too coincidental that someone originally plotted in an error that happened to take the flights down the safest (military) route and it seems to me to have been purposefully done. In the sounds, the low flying would have been fairly safe (1500 still very low). So, I think that Mahon should have acknowledged programming errors on the part of Air New Zealand, poor judgement on the part of the crew, and overall blame being placed on Air NZ, on the basis that even at the flying levels that were typical of the Erebus flights, the plane would still have been lost.
Visited Date:
09/11/2016
Name:
Druv Patel
Location:
India
Comments:
Remembering my Mum and Dad who lost their lives on Flight 901 32 years ago...
Visited Date:
05/07/2016
Name:
Brian
Location:
Gig Harbor, WA, USA
Comments:
Just watched an amazing documentary regarding the tragedy of Flight 901. Here I find myself saddened by the death's that came to soon for so many. I hope those that remained to morn the loss of loved ones can find a sliver of comfort in knowing their loved ones are remembered by complete strangers, 37 years later, 9133 miles away.
Visited Date:
27/05/2016
Name:
Margaret Tulloh
Location:
Sydney
Comments:
I will always remember that day. Having been out with friends When I arrived home my husband told me to get over to my mothers as my Uncle was missing. I have not heard about the missing plane. I knew my Uncle Albert Eric Dunbar McNeil was going to Mt Erebus but not when. We stayed by the radio all night. At seven the next morning news came through that the plane was found and there were no survivors. Air New Zealand flew my mother and sister over to be there to identify him if necessary. They stayed at my Uncle's home in Epsom. His wife had died not long before. There was no stone unturned to identify the victims, taking samples from personal items etc. time and again but my Uncle was not identified. My Uncle's body was never found. As far as we know his remains are still down a crevice at Mt Erebus, or is he in one of the unidentified coffins, we will never know. Air New Zealand flew us over for the Memorial Service at Waikumete Cemetery, Glen Eden West Auckland. It was a very moving ceremony. People from all over the world who had lost loved ones were present. That disaster is something you never forget when it hits close to home. Thank you for this web site.
Visited Date:
27/04/2016
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