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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 26202
Last updated: 18 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain
Owner/operator:St. Joseph Flying Service Inc
Registration: N54357
MSN: 31-7405248
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Whitianga Aerodrome -   New Zealand
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Whitianga Airport, New Zealand (NZWT)
Destination airport:Auckland, New Zealand (AKL/NZAA)
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 2 September 1974: crashed on take off at Whitianga Airport, New Zealand, at the end of a delivery flight from US-based manufacturer to British owner. (Anglo Normandy Airways). Both persons on board killed. Pilot stopping-over in New Zealand for several days. During take-off, for a flight from Whitianga to Auckland, the aircraft suffered an engine failure and impacted vertically behind the beach at Whitianga.

Autopsy of the pilot revealed acute interstitial myocarditis conducive toward destruction of the cardiac muscle fibres. It is a silent disease prone to cause irregularities in cardiac rhythm, fainting, and occasionally sudden death. The possibility that the pilot had become physically incapacitated to some degree could not be entirely discounted.

Probable cause: The pilot was unable to cope with an in-flight emergency initiated by a power plant malfunction and compounded by poor weather conditions, as a consequence of which the aircraft stalled and the pilot lost control at too low an altitude to effect recovery.

Aircraft had only been registered in the USA as N54357 on August 30 1974, but the US registration was cancelled by the FAA on September 9 1974 (seven days after its accident)



Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
21-Apr-2015 00:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
05-Aug-2020 01:37 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

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