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!
She saw it fly north and then return later, so it obviously had to be within a distance that she could see it.
I measured the distance on GE from the Vincent’s place to Darryl’s plotted track and found it to be a distance over just over 6.7 n.miles and so I moved the view on GE up to my home town and measured the same distance from our property so as to be able to visualise if I could see a C180 flying past.
The outcome was: I might hear it if the wind was blowing the right way (as the C180 is a very noisy plane), but I very much doubt that I would be able to see it. If I could, it would only be a very small dot on the horizon.
With that in mind, I rang Mrs Vincent and had a chat with her. She said she had seen it as per Darryl’s note, and that on both occasions it was close enough to be able to see that it was red and white, in fact, on the return flight she actually thought it was going to land on their airstrip as it was so close..... Not only that, but there was an Air Traffic Controller friend visiting her at the time having a cup of tea, and she had seen it too! So there was two people who knew their aeroplanes, that saw it. This meant that either the radar track was out, or the track that Airways thought was ZK-FMQ - wasn’t!!!
At about that time, I noticed that I had overlooked something: “Saw it disappear into murk following transmission lines,” and so I rang Mrs Vincent back.
The Vincent’s property is in the middle of two transmission lines that run parallel to each other a mile apart, towards the south. I asked her which transmission lines did she see him following? She replied that it was the lines east of them.
This could help explain why ZK-FMQ did not show up on the radar as it is possible that it was flying too low to be picked up on it. A Halkett resident who lives over 3 miles off the end of the main runway 22, saw a plane go over at about 300 ft, whereas they would have normally been at at least 1000 ft by then. An Aeroclub member (who saw Ryan standing beside the plane, and waved to him), and the Halkett resident, both said the time was about 12.00pm, or 12-ish.
I painstakingly placed tracks on GE from pylon to pylon (shown as red lines) all the way down the western and eastern transmission lines past the Vincent’s property and found that it was possible to track FMQ’s movements all the way down up to Lake Benmore by the very positive sightings and hearings (more shown on next page). Sightings shown as purple placemarks / hearings = light blue .
I’ve found that you need to bare in mind that people are having to remember something that happened (sometimes several days prior) that they had no reason to take notice. At the time, they didn’t know that it was going to go missing! The only way a person can usually recall the times is normally in relation to events like morning tea, lunch time, afternoon tea, dinner time, and then proportion the event in their mind to whether it was closer to afternoon tea or lunch time eg: if it