18 May 2010

Sunair's Version of the Napier Incident

The NZ Herald carried a far different story to what the Hawkes Bay Today newspaper reported... this article has the Sunair version...
Source : http://www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz/local/news/lead-story-plane-nose-dives-in-hb/3914275/

A standard training flight turned into a runway drama at Hawke's Bay Airport last night when a "misunderstanding" between a senior commercial pilot and a trainee saw their Piper Aztec aircraft go nose down. The aircraft, operated by Tauranga-based Sunair Aviation, was on a night-training programme with just the two pilots aboard. Today, the airline's chief executive officer, Dan Power, said early reports it was a passenger flight with one passenger aboard were incorrect. The senior pilot is understood to be Napier-based, while the trainee was from Hamilton. Mr Power said the night flight had been going well and there had been no technical problems before the "bit of a mishap". He described it as "a misunderstanding between the two pilots" which led to a mishandling of the front-nose wheel. The twin-engined aircraft was landing just before 9pm when the incident happened. Mr Power said the pilots had reacted quickly to bring the aircraft to a halt and were uninjured. Emergency services raced to the airport and closed the stretch of runway. The aircraft was checked for leaking fuel and fluids and found to be all clear. It was removed by Flightcare engineers last night and was being assessed at their workshop this morning. Mr Power described the damage as minor and expected the aircraft to be out of action for two to three weeks. He said Sunair operated nine of the twin-engined aircraft so scheduled passenger services would not be affected by the incident. The pilots were scheduled to meet with company officials for a debriefing today. The police had referred the incident to the Civil Aviation Authority.

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