Stewart Island PlaneSchoenefeld Airplane
3rd-level New Zealand: Mishap at Stewart Island
It is believed that a downdraft was responsible for a plane accident off the Stewart Island coastline that led the flight attendant and the passengers to swim to a safe place. In a six-seater Piper Cherokee possessed by Southeast Air when it plummeted in flat waters near Doughboy Bay strand seconds after it took off from the shore at 2. 36pm last night.
The Southeast Air Executive Bill Moffatt said he thought the motor had not sunk. "and he ( "the pilot") landed in the sea right on the shore. There is a small turnoff at the end of the shore and we get turbulences there and that's what we think happens.
'' Moffatt said the plane had a "soft arrival" when it struck the flat sea about 20 metres from the shore. At the end of the 20-year-old flight and the middle-aged passengers, both unharmed, were climbing out of the flight deck and onto a piano before they thought about jumping into the deep end, he said.
'' Late in the afternoons, a chopper towed the plane out of the sea and up the shore to over the tidemark, where it was still there. The wind hindered the effort to return the plane to Stewart Island airstrips or Invercargill. About $150,000 was the plane underwritten, but Mr Moffatt said it was important to get it off the shore quickly to get the saltwater off.
Moffatt said that a security system in place at Christmas means that the firm knew about the accident immediately, even before the rescue centre. This system, known as Spider Tracks, was used to follow airplanes. As the plane struck the sea, the driver pressed the SOS key in the dashboard and text message was sent to the CEOs while the position of the plane was displayed on a surveillance monitor in the corporate offices.
Southeast Air received a call from the rescue control center about 10 mins after the plane crashed because the tracker had started on the plane. Moffatt-san said that airplanes were using Doughboy Bay Strand as their runway on a regular basis. It was a rough and slippery spot and the airplanes could only touch it at low water.
Stewart Island Sen. Dale Jenkins, who thought the plane was about 50 meters off the coast when it struck the sea, said the passengers had been to Stewart Island to collect amber - a secretion from the spermaceti used as a fixer for delicate fragrances - before the unfortunate outing.
They were fortunate not to be hurt when the plane went down, Mr Jenkins said. The spokesperson for the civil aviation authorities, Bill Sommer, said that the authorities would examine the plane but would not deploy their detectives to the site. "We are investigating the cause of the incident on the basis of hard facts and to speak to the driver.
Sources: Congratulation to the pilots for a save touchdown without injury..... The South East Air was founded in 1993 by Raymond Hector and Bill Moffatt with Cessna 185E ZK-JEM for the operation of the seaside resort on the western shores of Stewart Island, Codfish Island for the Department of Conservation and general charters to New Zealand.
In April 2000, South East Air Ltd acquired Southern Air 1997 Ltd, which operated it as Stewart Island Flights. Aeroplane uses two Piper Cherokee 6 aircrafts, ZK-DIV and ZK-RTS.....