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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In the future, with all the amazing technology that is constantly coming on the market, I am confident that we will soon have the technology to enable flying a device in to give us likely ‘hot spots’ to be checked out. I don’t mind ‘pushing’ myself and others on the team if you know there is an object to be checked out, but to just go through terrible conditions  just in case it is in there - is another matter. It is not the worry of getting into these awkward places - it’s the worry of not being able to get back out before nightfall and have to stay the night in there!

On the 2013 trip in, we had another two additions to our team, Nathan Mauchline and his son, Jonathon. It was great to have two new very enthusiastic members in with us, although I don’t think they really knew what they were letting themselves in for! Maybe I’m just becoming too old and over cautious? They both really enjoyed themselves though..

Peter had an accident in that he had a sharp stick penetrate quite deeply into his hand which was bad enough, but then it started to swell up really badly. It really brought home the isolation of being in there. The only way we could get outside help in there would be to set off the PLB, and there is doubt that it would be picked up in there anyway given the narrow band of transmission to the satellites caused by being in a narrow valley. Fortunately with the antiseptics that we did have with us, a large amount of the swelling had gone by the next day.

The next search we intend to do in there will be in a totally new area due to a very unusual ‘lead” we got. Michelle May, one of the search team, went to a DOC presentation in Franz Josef that spoke of the effects of the 1080 possum poisoning program on the Kea population. Turns out that DOC had satellite tracking beacons on a couple of fledgling Keas in Jacobs River hat they had tagged when they were in the nest. They had specifically tagged these Keas as this area had never been poisoned, and they were using it as a comparison to the areas that had. One of these chicks, after a period of flying for only four months, died. They went in and retrieved it’s body and performed an autopsy on it to find that it had died of high concentrations of lead in it’s system.

I contacted the person in DOC who gave the talk to find out more.

Unfortunately, the tracking system only puts out one signal to the satellite every eight days, so it’s exact travels cannot be determined exactly, but all the hits that were received showed that it (and it’s sibling) had not ventured that far from the nest, in fact when it died it was only 500 meters from that point.

You might ask, why I am so interested in this? Jacobs River is a Valley that is virtually untouched by human intervention. There are no huts or the like for a young inquisitive Kea to find anything lead - such as roofing nails. So it is strange that this young Kea was able to get lead into it’s system. DOC certainly thought so.... so much that they found it strange enough to mention it in a presentation. So if this Kea did not venture far from it’s nest and it found lead, then this lead must have been introduced ....and what easier explanation could you get than from the corroding battery in an aircraft wreck... ZK-AFB???

I found out where this Keas’ nest was and where it had died, and I overlaid the map given to me by DOC over Google Earth to get these positions:

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