Findlostaircraft.co.nz
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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Cessna 180 ZK-BMP
16 August 1978
Missing: Rev. Syril Francis Crosbie - age 37
               Trevor George Collins - age 50
               Gordon Grant Sutherland - age 28
               Peter Alexander Robertson - age 48
The aircraft was on a flight from Big Bay, South Westland, to Riversdale, Southland.
It was heard at Jamestown at the northern end of Lake McKerrow and it was thought that
it was heading towards Jamestown Saddle. It was then heard by a opossum trapper on the
eastern end of Lake Alabaster heading towards an area known as Hidden Falls and then
the trapper heard, and saw it, through the trees heading north towards Lake Wilmot. He
listened to it for approximately a further twenty minutes whereas he then noticed a change in the engine pitch as though it was on full power with the propeller on fine pitch and it had
an echo effect as though it was passing the mouths of valleys. Although there was a large very thorough search carried out, it was never seen again.

Mid February, 2009, saw me down in the Lake McKerrow area, once again thanks to James Scott (Alpine Adventures)  looking for what I believe is Cessna 180 ZK-BMP, that I believe is shown on an old Feb. 1980 aerial photo that I have, lying upside down in a flat area on the side of the mountain. This was also seen in Sept. 1980 by a passenger flying over the area - and has since been identified as the same spot! This area under the bush canopy was much different to the bush I had just been in looking for ZK-AFB (Jacobs River) probably due to the extra amount of sunlight that it would receive  in comparison, eventhough it was obviously still very damp which was made obvious by the amount of moss that was covering  most things.

After searching for a few hours it became apparent that the trees that it was suspended in, were right on the edge of the mountain and eventually when it fell down through the trees it continued on down the side of the mountain probably on one of the many land and tree ‘slides’ that I saw. I tried to call up the helicopter with my VHF radio transceiver only to find that the freshly charged battery had “expired” for want of a better word *#^**##! Of what I could see through the tree canopy, the weather appeared to be turning for the worse so I decided that the best chance of survival (I had to leave my back-pack on top of the mountain, with my tent, food, etc., in it, as it was too steep to attempt to bring it down with me) was to continue on down the side of the mountain down to the shelter of the Dept. of Conservation huts far below me. I had hoped that while I was descending, that I might just come across the wreck, but alas, this was not to be as the area I wanted to check out was becoming too dangerous to access, so reluctantly I had to divert away.

 

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