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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 61562
Last updated: 15 November 2021
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Time:9:30 pm
Type:Silhouette image of generic C404 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 404 Titan
Owner/operator:Dalhoff & King Flying School Ltd
Registration: ZK-TAS
MSN: 404-0067
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Pacific Ocean, off Motunau, North Canterbury -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Wellington
Destination airport:Christchurch
During a courier flight from Wellington to Christchurch, the pilot Victor Donnelly reported handling problems shortly after starting a descent from the cruising altitude of 10,000 feet. At 9:30 pm, he radioed Christchurch, saying "Tango Alpha Sierra - Mayday. I've lost control - I've shut an engine down - engine fires." and a few seconds later "I've lost it - I'm going to hitu2026u201D.

The crash site was not found and police investigated a possible theft of the aircraft. The official accident report gave possible causes as disorientation in cloud while trying to deal with an emergency, loss of control because of airframe ice build-up, structural failure with a severe fire in the engine bay, an explosion in hazardous cargo, a failure of the flying control system or possible criminal mischief.


1. Civil Air Accident Files, Archives New Zealand
2. King, John (1995). Aviation Accidents and Disasters. New Zealand Tragedies. Wellington: Grantham House. pp. 127-128. ISBN 1 86934 042 6.
3. Aircraft Accident Report No. 77-100
Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand: Register Review No 3, 1977.

Revision history:

22-May-2009 12:58 XLerate Added
25-May-2009 00:24 XLerate Updated
31-Dec-2010 17:04 TB Updated [Damage]
08-Jan-2011 15:57 TB Updated [Time, Cn]
29-May-2018 04:22 Ron Averes Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
22-Sep-2021 01:15 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

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