Investigation Focuses On Potentially Hazardous Cargo
New Zealand Investigators Wednesday released the names of two
flight crew members killed in the apparent mid-air explosion of
their Fairchild Metroliner Tuesday night, as the investigation into
exactly what brought the mail plane down continued.
As ANN reported Tuesday, the aircraft, carrying approximately
600 parcels for both New Zealand Post and DHL, exploded during a
flight from Auckland to Brenheim. The debris rained down on the
small farming town of Stratford, spurring dozens of calls to
The pilots were identified as Clive Rodger Adamson, 43, of
Wellington, and Anthony Brian Arthur Drummond, 41, of Manukau City,
according to Radio New Zealand reports. New Zealand Post expressed
its condolences to their families.
In the meantime, the mystery into what caused the mishap
appeared to deepen late Wednesday (local time), as investigators
poring over both the wreckage and records pertaining to the flight
of the aircraft indicated the plane veered off course before
dropping from radar surveillance.
Two investigators from the Transport Accident Investigation
Commission were dispatched from Wellington to lead the
investigation in a debris field at least three kilometers in
Investigators Wednesday were trying to collect as many of the
packages and letters as possible, looking for clues as to the cause
of the mishap. But a spokesman for New Zealand Post said there was
no immediate indication that anything hazardous was on the flight
at the time of the crash.
Witness reports continued to pour in from the farms surrounding
Stratford, where the aircraft went down.
"It exploded right above us. (The wreckage) came over the top of
a hill, hit the hill and that ripped the wings off. The cockpit was
dug into the ground," said Stratford resident Pete Drinnan.
Another Stratford-area resident, Geoff Hunger, told the New
Zealand Press Association the aircraft appeared to be on fire
before the explosion.
"It was just a ball of flames... going through the sky and about
20 seconds later there was just a big explosion," he said. "Then
you saw what would be the burning bits of the plane falling out of