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Accident description
Last updated: 21 October 2017
Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Wednesday 27 December 2006
Time:10:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic BN2P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Britten-Norman BN-2A-27 Islander
Operator:Island Air Charters
Registration: ZK-WNZ
C/n / msn: 278
First flight: 1971-05-06 (35 years 8 months)
Engines: 2 Lycoming O-540-E4C5
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:ca 7 km W off Tauranga Airport (TRG) (   New Zealand)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:Tauranga Airport (TRG/NZTG), New Zealand
Destination airport:Hamilton Airport (HLZ/NZHN), New Zealand
Narrative:
The pilot was ferrying the aircraft from Tauranga Airport (TRG) to a Hamilton Airport (HLZ) maintenance facility when one of the engines failed. The pilot elected to turn back to Tauranga but, shortly after, the remaining engine failed. The pilot carried out a forced landing into a tidal estuary. The aircraft incurred substantial damage to the nose landing gear. Subsequent CAA safety investigation determined that on an earlier flight, the aircraft's electrical system incurred a defect that rendered several electrical components unserviceable, including the two tip/main fuel tank selector valves. No engineering inspection or rectification ensued and the operator ferried the aircraft from Great Barrier Island unaware that the engines were being fed from the tip tanks only. The operator departed Tauranga for Hamilton under similar circumstances, reaching the vicinity of the Kaimai Ranges when the tip tanks became empty.
The plane stuck fast in the mud and was kept afloat overnight by drums. It was airlifted by a Mil Mi-8 helicopter the next day.

Classification:
Fuel starvation
Forced landing outside airport

Sources:
» Airline and pilot banned after crash landing (NZPA, 29-12-2006)
» CAA NZ Occurrence # 06/4799


Photos

photo of Britten-Norman BN-2A-27 Islander ZK-WNZ
photo of Britten-Norman BN-2A-27 Islander ZK-WNZ
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Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
06 MAY 1971 G-AYYA first flight
06 MAY 1971 VH-ISE Islander Aircraft Sales
26 JUL 1973 VH-ISE
VH-ISE Islandair Pty
20 JUN 1979 N8021M Tonga Air
04 OCT 1979 N8021M Samoan Airlines
N8021M Manu'a Air Transport
ZK-WNZ Southern Air, Invercargill
ZK-WNZ New Zealand Air Services
ZK-WNZ Wings Over Whales
26 OCT 2004 ZK-WNZ Island Air Charters

» source: Werner Fischdick

Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Tauranga Airport to Hamilton Airport as the crow flies is 79 km (49 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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