04 January 2015

Was it really a near miss accident???

Another case of sensational news reporting on a slow news day???

Valerie Adams in aircraft accident near miss in Tonga (http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/64643224/valerie-adams-in-aircraft-accident-near-miss-in-tonga)

A near miss??? Really???

Olympic shot put medallist Valarie Adams has had a near miss with an aircraft accident involving a Chinese plane that started to skid off a runaway in Tonga. New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully has been warning Kiwis for the last year not to travel on the Real Tonga Airlines Xian MA60 aircraft saying it is not safe. Over the weekend she and Price tried to fly to the nearby island of 'Eua on the aircraft which was gifted to Tonga by China.

Except the plane that flies to 'Eua is not the MA60 NZ Foreign affairs has an issue!!! It was a Y12 Harbin that have been flying in the Pacific for years

Before boarding the aircraft at Fua'amotu International Airport Adams posed for photos with other Tongans travelling to 'Eua. That caption says the photo was taken just before they boarded "the real Tonga Airlines on their way to 'Eua only to find out the breaks don't work as the plane started to slide off the runway.... Thank goodness everyone was safe and no one got hurt".

Correct me if I am wrong, but normally there would be a brake check before the runway AND if a brake was locked it would be fairly evident fairly quickly...  and it would be a veer rather than a slide I would have thought. Was it really a near miss or as I asked at the top of the post, Another case of sensational news reporting on a slow news day???

Added to which I've got nothing else to post!


  1. The newspaper report must have been written by one of those people who think all chinese look alike

  2. The photo looks like a Y12 Harbin to me as well? Maybe I am going a bit blind?

  3. Yup.. It was not the MA60. It is just a beat up. The age of social media and poor research.

  4. Yeah the MA60 cannot land in Eua, the runways too small.. this would be serviced by the BN2's, Dhc6's or the Harbin's. Not to mention the flights only around 25 minutes Lol

  5. I think Real Tonga is doing a great job in the domestic market. They are still flying carrying lots of passengers and making money even though some have tried really hard to ground this airline.

    I found this viewpoint to be interesting:-

    Many well informed business owners feel Air New Zealand do not want the Chinese to assist Tonga set up a regional service, this will cost Air New Zealand Pacific trade, and some feel this is one of the reasons why the thumb is on Tonga, the Chinese are wanting to base more aircraft here and it makes perfect sense, just like Continental Airlines ran a “milk run” from Hawaii to Guam, servicing all the islands in the central pacific, so to could Tonga service the Southern Pacific, and this would greatly benefit the islands trading, but this would have a huge effect on Air NZ’s monopoly, especially now Air NZ have a share holding in, and the CEO is on the board of Virgin Australia. They want to KILL off any chance Tonga has of working with the Chinese on a regional airline operation, you just check out the new Regional Jet China is building, and that is what this is all about.


  6. Maybe Real Tonga needs to expand and fly internationally and become like Fiji Air. It could be just what Tonga's tourism industry needs.

    “Aviation history is littered with the carcasses of national airlines when smaller countries sign Open Skies with much bigger countries. This always works in the favour of the big guys.”
    “Countries like Aruba, Jamaica, Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago signed Open Skies with the United States. In just three years, their tourism sector declined.
    Mr Pichler said bigger airlines had no loyalty to foreign countries.
    He said if national airlines like Fiji Airways went out of business, Fiji would be left with foreign airlines who didn’t care about “Fiji’s economy, Fiji’s tourism, Fiji s hotels, Fiji’s travel and tourist service providers.”
    “As a result, you will see that they will only fly here when its high season – like school holidays in Australia and New Zealand and US or whatever.
    “Air New Zealand just announced 160,000 additional seats for next year to Fiji. But, only in the peak season, only because they have to use their bigger aircraft for rotations. Not because they want to support Fiji as a country, as a nation.”


    1. Air NZ is a business, why would they care about Fiji economy in general. Tourism is allready a peak business, thats because its based on what the customers want. You go out of business very quickly otherwise.
      Let go of the victim mentality and first rate moaning, you have a great airline with Fiji Airways and should be grateful other carriers go at all, whith the unstable political situation making problems you dont need

    2. I think that's the point Pichler is making, that Foreign airlines like Air New Zealand don't care about Fiji or even Tonga for that matter.
      Some might say that Air New Zealand does not care about rural NZ either though they probably don't want to say that too loudly as the locals are already starting to rise up.
      National airlines often enjoy monopoly status and so are often expected to grow the local tourism economy.

  7. Samoa looking at a regional air service with a harbin Y12e and a Y12F

    Government appears to be warming to the idea of reviving Polynesian Airlines medium haul routes.

    Airline minister and chairman Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo and airline chief executive Seiuli Alvin in Tuala were recently in China looking at possibly acquiring two prop jets.

    “The ultimate goal is to use Faleolo and Fagali’i airports as a transfer point to get passengers to their intended destination,” said Fonotoe.

    “It’s part of a hub-and-spoke model, for travelers moving between airports not served by direct flights change planes en route to their destinations.”

    “And the next phase is to secure two more airplanes for the regional networking operations.”

    A Memorandum of Understanding to this effect has been signed already by government with the Chinese based AVIC-International Aero-Development Corporation.

    “The aircrafts include one Y12E aircrafts which is identical to the Twin Otter,” said Fonotoe.

    “That plane is ideal for inter-island services to Pago Pago and our Savai’i domestic route.

    “The second model is the Y12F airplane. That aircraft will be designated for network flights between Samoa, Niue, Tonga and other Pacific islands.

    “The Y12F model is pressurized and can travel at higher altitudes.

    “It has the range for longer flights complimented with a seating capacity for 20 people.

    “It also has a restroom.

    “The regional operations plan is one of the options under consideration.”

    The Deputy Prime Minister accompanied by Polynesian Airline’s CEO Seiuli Tuala and Civil Aviation Director Nanai Junior Saaga.


  8. The thumb is on Tonga running a plane that doesnt have certification from the usual western authorities. As NZ was paying for the international marketing of Tonga as a tourist destination and many NZ nationals would be flying on internal routes its a very good position to be in. We all remember the atrocious safety standards that allowed the Princess Ashika ferry to sink.
    The Harbin does seem to have the required certification, so we can see its not a anti China or anti Tonga airlines thing.
    The idea that Air NZ wants to prevent local Tonga airlines from growing is absurd , as they have bigger issues of their own. Tonga wouldnt have the money or resources to support its own airlines flying on routes to other nations. Its reality

    1. The last time they tried to ground Real Tonga it was because they said the Harbin wasn't properly certified by the Tongan CAA, despite the Harbin being certified by the FAA.
      So they were going to ground an airline because they said the paperwork wasn't in order. Then they changed their minds again and said everything is fine, keep flying.
      Maybe its got nothing to do with safety or the MA60 or planes not being certified by the FAA but everything to do with containing China.

    2. Does anyone remember when Air New Zealand took over Ansett Australia and really upset the Aussies?
      They got so upset they grounded Ansett's 767 planes saying they were unsafe.
      Air New Zealand went bankrupt and our Government had to bail out Air New Zealand to the tune of 100's of millions of dollars.