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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Prior to these searches, Nathan and his son, Jonathan performed an earlier ground search as a result of Nathan flying a Cessna 172 into the area to get a ‘feel’ for what Ned may have done on the day. Nathan felt that maybe Ned had gone back in for another look trying to work out where they were and then turned to the right towards the Whakapowhai River and clipped a tree in the turn. Nathan pointed out that there was the top of the tree line, and every now and then there was native trees (Rimu and the like) towering another 200 feet or so above that. If they were down in the murk just above the tree canopy, it would have been very easy to collide with one of these trees as they would have appeared out of the murk so quickly that it would have been hard to miss them!

The top two tracks shown are the ones that Les and I took most of the family members on - (9 only on the second one down - and then they went back by way of the road), the next four down are Nathan and Jonathan’s tracks on the earlier search, the next was Les and myself’s track on our way to search area No.5 (the long way round!), and the rest were Nathan, Jonathan, and Matthew’s on the later search. The straight lines are simply lines drawn in by the GPS linking the positions the GPS’s were turned off and on. One needs to remember to finish and save to memory the previous track - and then clear that track from the actual Track Log before one starts a new track!

Mike Wellesley-Smith, the reporter from TV3 once asked me, “Has the lake ever been checked out?”

This startled me at the time as I had been so focused on the young girl’s ‘dog not coming to her as it was eating crayfish in an old aeroplane’, that I had never even considered this possibility... a very valid one!

I was hopeful to obtain a new device in the form of a Depth Sounder that also is a Side Scanning Sonar.

I only recently found out that these devices exist and are very reasonably priced. They have the capability of ‘seeing’ the bottom of the lake/sea as though it is a camera taking photographs - and many more features. There are several makes and models available but the most common one in New Zealand (at least in the Hawkes Bay) is the Lowrance version and the 10” screen one (HDS10) is currently on special for $2850.00.

I was hopeful to raise enough finance before the last search (I’m not in a position to finance it myself anymore as I don’t get time to earn a living anymore due to the enormous amount of time spent researching and actual searching for these aircraft) but there was not enough time... So if any of you readers wish to donate to a worthy cause? ... We have a boat available and crew to man it... we just need the unit.

You can view how useful these units are by watching these youtube links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vHOdp7UqeU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlO6naQL0m0

 

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