Air New Zealand Flight 901

Air New Zealand Flight 901

Airliner Accident
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Air New Zealand Flight 901

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Air New Zealand Flight 901 (TE-901) was a scheduled Air New Zealand Antarctic sightseeing flight that operated between 1977 and 1979, from Auckland Airport to Antarctica and return via Christchurch.

On 28 November 1979, the fourteenth flight of TE901, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 registered ZK-NZP, collided with Mount Erebus on Ross Island, Antarctica, killing all 237 passengers and 20 crew on board. The accident is commonly known as the Mount Erebus disaster.

The initial investigation concluded the accident was caused by pilot error but public outcry led to the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the crash. The commission, presided over by Justice Peter Mahon, concluded that the accident was caused by a correction made to the coordinates of the flight path the night before the disaster, coupled with a failure to inform the flight crew of the change, with the result that the aircraft, instead of being directed by computer down McMurdo Sound (as the crew assumed), was re-routed into the path of Mount Erebus. In Justice Mahon's report, he accused Air New Zealand of presenting "an orchestrated litany of lies" and this charge in the end led to changes in senior management at the airline. The accident remains New Zealand's deadliest peacetime disaster. The Age Retrieved 14 January 2011

Background

The flight was designed and marketed as a unique sightseeing experience, carrying an experienced Antarctic guide who pointed out scenic...
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