Recovery Team Uses Sonar To Find Pilot Remains
It's a sad search of
the northern coast of New Zealand. There won't be any survivors
found. Still, recovery teams are using a boat equipped with sonar
to locate the wreckage of an Airfreight New Zealand Convair 580
(file photo, below) flying from Christchurch to Palmerston
The aircraft disappeared from radar Friday night near the mouth
of the Waikanae River. Pilots Barry Cowley, 57, of Kaiapoi, near
Christchurch, and Paul Miller, 50, of Thames, are believed to have
been killed in the crash. Residents along the coast reported
hearing a plane circling, then a bang, and later the smell of
Several pieces of the sea-wrecked aircraft washed up on the New
Zealand coast Friday night and Saturday. A large piece of fuselage
was found in garden at Peka Peka, near Waikanae.
The spokesman said the crew had switched over to the Ohakea air
traffic controller at 9.30pm and whatever caused the crash happened
soon after that.
A report on the cause of the crash would be six to eight months
The missing men's employer said they would not have flown if
they had felt conditions were unsafe. "Our pilots know that if they
don't feel safe then they don't go up," Freightways Group managing
director Dean Bracewell said. He told reporters Cowley was one of
Airfreight's most experienced and capable pilots who would have no
hesitation in not flying if he was concerned about safety.
Airfreight New Zealand is a subsidiary of Fieldair Holdings, a
business in the Freightways Group. It flies five Convair 580 planes
to connect overnight airfreight between the North and South
It's not the first time one of ANZ's has been involved in a
fatal accident. A Convair CV-580 cargo plane owned by the company
crashed at Auckland airport in 1989, killing all three on board,
after it hit an embankment during take-off.