This Site is dedicated to all those families of the people that have tragically disappeared on flights in and around New Zealand. I  only hope that from all the effort in building this site and from all the effort of those taking part in this venture, that it will bear fruit in bringing ‘closure’ to their memories!
Gavin Grimmer
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On arrival at the site, James over flew the strange Punga formation outcrop and it was immediately obvious what had caused it. There was a stream meandering diagonally down the hill just above it, and so it was not difficult to imagine it bursting it’s banks at some stage and washing away the trees in that area. The pungas had quickly grown back, whereas the larger trees take a lot longer to take over.... Another lesson learnt!

James thought that had Chadwick tried to turn back in about that area, then just above the “Colin Tuck - Secondary” spot (shown above) would be about where he would have impacted seeing as there was a ridge line jutting out into the valley and if he was on the extent of the capabilities of a tight turn he would have either crashed into it, or stalled and spun in. On the second full day of searching, Alec and I came across a series of blackened trees, and I got quite excited about it as it was in this area in a line down this ridge line. We had a quick look around, but then had to head back to the Camp as it was getting on in the day.

The others wanted to try the next day to get across the river to search there, and after mulling over it for a lot of the night, I decided to go back up to that area on my own to check it out further. My thinking was that if I didn’t, I would spend the rest of my life wondering if these blackened trees were the results of a fire caused by ZK-AFB crashing. We had plenty of 2 way radios to keep in contact with each other, so if anything untoward happened, I could at least call them for help - not to mention a GPS ELT.

After spending quite a lot of time checking all the blackened trees, I came to the conclusion that it was only a black fungas, but it was strange that it was highly concentrated just in that area... the area James had indicated!     

As always, we still cannot say that we definitely eliminated the possibility of ZK-AFB being in this area as for one thing - we don’t actually know what will be left of it after all these years and hence don’t know exactly what we are looking for, and due to the denseness of the bush, we could have missed it anyway!

The purple tracks are Michelle’s, white is Clive’s,  green is Alec’s, and mine (Gavin) is blue.

For some reason, Nathan and Jonathan’s GPS file has disappeared off my computer, but at least you can get the general idea of the areas searched.

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