November 28, 1979
Mt. Erebus, Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Air New Zealand, Flight 901
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30

The aircraft crashed into the slopes of Mt. Erebus while on sightseeing flight to Antarctica.
An incorrect computer-stored flight plan resulted in a navigational error directing the flight
towards Mt. Erebus. Because of overcast, the crew descended below authorized altitude.
Contributing to the accident was the crew's inexperience with flying the Antarctic route. 
All 257 aboard killed.

MC = McMurdo Station
CA = Captain
F/O = First Officer
F/E = Flight Engineer
MU = Mulgrew (guide)

12:18 MC We have a low overcast in the area at about 2,000ft and right now we're having some snow, but visibility is still about 40 miles and if you like I can give you an update on where the cloud areas are around the local area.
  F/O Yes 901, that would be handy. We'd like to descend and maintain flight level one six zero.
  MC Kiwi 901, Mac Center descend and maintain flight level one six zero.
  MC 901, this is the forecaster again. It looks like the clear areas around McMurdo area are at approximately between 75 and 100 miles to the northwest of us but right now over McMurdo we have a pretty extensive low overcast. Over.
12:19 F/O Roger, New Zealand 901, thanks.
  F/E That'll be round about Cape Bird, wouldn't it?
  F/O Right, right.
  F/E Got a low overcast over McMurdo.
  CA Doesn't sound very promising, does it?
  MC Within range of 40 miles of McMurdo we have radar that will, if you desire, let you down to 1,500ft on radar vectors. Over.
  F/O Roger, New Zealand 901, that's acceptable.
12:20 CA That's what we want to hear.
12:31 CA I'll have to do an orbit here, I think.
  CA Well actually it's clear out here if we get down.
  F/E It's not clear on the right-hand side here.
  F/O No.
  CA If you can get HF contact tell him that we'd like further descent. We have contact with the ground and we could, if necessary, descend doing an orbit.
12:32 F/O We'd like further descent and we could orbit in our present position which is approximately 43 miles north, descending in VMC.
  MC Roger Kiwi New Zealand 901, VMC descent is approved and keep Mac Center advised of your altitude.
  F/O Roger, New Zealand 901, we're vacating one eight zero. We'll advise level.
12:34 CA Ladies and gentlemen. We're carrying out an orbit and circling our present position and we'll be descending to an altitude below cloud so that we can proceed to McMurdo Sound.
  F/E There's Wilson.
12:35 F/O Transponder is now responding.
  F/E Still no good on that frequency though?
  F/O No.
  F/O Roger 901, you are now loud and clear also. We are presently descending through flight level one three zero, VMC, and the intention at the moment is to descend to one zero thousand.
12:36 F/O We've lost him again.
  F/O I'll go back to HF, Jim.
  CA I've got to stay VMC here so I'll be doing another orbit.
12:38 F/O 901, we briefly had contact on one three four one. We've now lost contact. We're maintaining 10,000ft, presently 34 miles to the north of McMurdo.
  CA Tell him we can make a visual descent on a grid of one eight zero and make a visual approach to McMurdo.
12:42 F/O 901, still negative contact on VHF. We are VMC and we'd like to let down on a grid of one eight zero and proceed visually to McMurdo.
  MC New Zealand 901, maintain VMC. Keep you advised of your altitude as you approach McMurdo..
  CA We're VMC around this way so I'm going to do another turn in.
  CA Sorry, haven't got time to talk, but ...
  MU Ah well, you can't talk if you can't see anything.
12:43 MU There you go. There's some land ahead.
  CA I'll arm the nav again.
  CA ALT, NAV CAP, IAS hold.
12:44 FO Roger, New Zealand 901, 50 miles north the base was one zero thousand. We are now at 6,000 descending to 2,000 and we're VMC.
12:45 CA We had a message from the Wright Valley and they are clear over there.
  MU Oh, good.
  CA So if you can get us out over that way...?
  MU No trouble.
  MU Taylor on the right now.
  MU This is Peter Mulgrew speaking again folks. I still can't see very much at the moment. Keep you informed soon as I see something that gives me a clue as to where we are. We're going down in altitude now and it won't be long before we get quite a good view.
12:46 F/E Where's Erebus in relation to us a the moment.
  MU Left, about 20 or 25 miles.
  F/O Yep, yep.
  F/E I'm just thinking of any high ground in the area, that's all.
  MU I think it'll be left.
  F/E Yes, I reckon about here.
  MU Yes ... no, no, I don't really know.
12:47 MU That's the edge.
  CA Yes, OK. Probably see further anyway.
  F/O It's not too bad.
  MU I reckon Bird's through here and Ross Island there. Erebus should be there.
  CA Actually, these conditions don't look very good at all, do they?
  MU No they don't.
12:49 MU That look like the edge of Ross Island there.
  F/E I don't like this.
  CA Have you got anything from him?
  F/O No
  CA We're 26 miles north. We'll have to climb out of this.
  MU You can see Ross Island? Fine.
  F/O You're clear to turn right. There's no high ground if you do a one eighty.
  CA No ... negative.
  GPWS [Whoop whoop pull up. Whoop whoop]
  F/E Five hundred feet.
  GPWS [Pull up]
  F/E Four hundred feet.
  GPWS [Whoop, whoop pull up. Whoop whoop pull up]
  CA Go-around power please.
  GPWS [Whoop whoop pull -]
    [Sound of impact]

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