|Occurrence Report Details
Convair 580, ZK-KFU, loss of control and in-flight break-up, Kapiti Coast, 3 October 2003
On Friday 3 October 2003 at 2126, Convair 580 ZK-KFU was on a scheduled night freight flight from Christchurch to Palmerston North, when it was observed on radar to enter a tightening left turn and disappear. Attempts to contact the aircraft were unsuccessful and a search for the aircraft was started.
The aircraft had impacted the sea about 10 km north of Paraparaumu about vertically and at high speed. The crew of 2 was killed on impact.
After crossing Cook Strait the aircraft probably became heavily iced up while descending through an area of severe icing, and stalled after flying level for a short time. The crew was unable to recover from the ensuing spiral dive and the aircraft broke up as it descended.
Safety issues identified included:
* the need for all pilots and operators to have a better understanding of aircraft icing
* the use of air reports to alert pilots to hazardous meteorological conditions
* the adequacy of aircraft, operator and CAA documentation to assist pilots encountering adverse weather conditions, particularly for IFR and night freight operators in icing conditions
* the adequacy of the installation, performance and capabilities of cockpit voice and flight data recorders
* the requirement for a suitable tracking device to be readily available to find underwater location beacons.
Safety recommendations were made to the Director of Civil Aviation and the operator to address these issues.
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