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CURRENT ENTRIES

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
Name:
Francesca
Location:
Hawkes Bay
Comments:
this website is awesome
Visited Date:
12/02/2016
Name:
Fenn
Location:
Wellington, NZ
Comments:
very sad
Visited Date:
12/02/2016
Name:
Ray Goldring
Location:
Castle Hill, NZ
Comments:
I was the site Safety Officer on the Erebus recovery site after the DC10 crash of 1979. I was in the Antarctic for the 1979/80 summer season as a Field Leader for field parties. I went onto the site on the Sunday morning after the crash and remained there the whole time until the task of recovering all the bodies had finished the following Saturday. My tasks were to ensure the safety of the engineers and investigators who went onto the site (two at a time), to recover any personal items that could help identify a passenger and to recover any computer circuit boards that may assist in determining the cause of the crash. Before I went onto the actual crash area itself, the bogie I had to fight with and overcome was the enormity of the disaster - how could so many people die in such a minute moment of time? More than anything else - the terrible scenes laid out before me on that gentle slope of pure snow, clearly enlightened me as to the tremendous fragility of humankind. The distance between life and death is but a blink of the eye, a flutter of a heart! After coming to terms with this inward struggle, only then was I able to deal with the victims as "objects" rather than people. Throughout the rest of my time there, I had this overwhelming sorrow of the lost potential and the utter waste of it all. Today, one of the lasting images is that of the sudden and unexpected appearance of a woman's foot. The recovery operation had been wound down - all the known bodies had been recovered. Waiting for the helicopters to arrive to lift us back to base, I continued to dig for computer parts. As I dug into the cockpit area, a woman's ankle appeared under my spade. It belonged to one of the hostesses. As it transpired, she had been married two weeks before the flight. The Air New Zealand pilot on the site at the time recognised her. And for the first time on site I saw a tear fall - the enormity of it all was finally hitting home for one of us - we had completed our awful task - now it was time to cry! MEMORIAM Life is as fragile as a butterfly's wings. And like a butterfly's wings, life is full of wonder and beauty. It is designed for the purpose of living. It is strong enough to complete its task. It will take you to distant and exciting places. It will find you love and friendship. It will lead you to fulfilment and wisdom. It may also take you to pain and suffering and it will lead you finally to meet your eternity. But most of all, like a butterfly's wing, your fragile life will lead you to your destiny - a life complete. Those whose lives were taken from them on that fateful day on Mt Erebus were being shown one of the greatest and awe-inspiring wonders of the known world. Magic untarnished, beauty unmatched - life complete. Let us mourn the loss of our friends and loved ones on Mt Erebus. But let us not deny them their spirit of adventure and the wonders they beheld. The fragility of life is ever present. The fragile souls at rest on Mt Erebus have finally escaped the net of time - they are now riding the ageless winds of infinity and have been locked forever into the souls of those they left behind. They gave us the memories - we give them their freedom. RAY GOLDRING NZSSM (Erebus)
Visited Date:
10/01/2016
Name:
T. A. Green
Location:
Harrodsburg, KY
Comments:
Profoundly sad time. I was a US Navy Huey pilot that flew many missions to the crash site. We first had to build a heavy timber helo pad on the side of the mountain. This set up precarious approaches with little wave-off options. The same wx prevailed around the site during the recovery ops that played into the mishap.
Visited Date:
02/01/2016
Name:
Selina Hurley
Location:
Melbourne (a born kiwi)
Comments:
as the daughter of ANZ cabin crew member, my father flew and loved the DC10. He loved his job and lost many of his close friends on that flight. It is now 36 years ago and a documentary will air in SBS Erebus Overdue Operation in Melbourne Sunday 15th Feb 2015. This is an emotional and a true account of what happen RIP TE901 we do remember.
Visited Date:
14/02/2015
Name:
C H
Location:
Sydney Australia
Comments:
SBS are showing a doco of the disaster on Sunday 16th Feb 2015 and it got me remembering, Gaye Ashcroft a girl in my class at Birkdale North Primary School was meant to be on that flight she was so excited; until a couple of days before the flight her family had to cancel she was devastated. God saved her I know.
Visited Date:
11/02/2015
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