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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couple of inches under the ground. The exact spot was on steep ground and I suspect that with the amount of Punga trees in the area, that the ground would have built up somewhat over the intervening 25 years. Punga trees shed their branches often, and these rot down and slowly build the ground layer up. A little further directly down the slope was the stream that flowed through a small swamp, and we went over all this with the detector but once again we found nothing. If there was anything metallic left there, then I suspect we will need a magnetometer to get the ground penetration. Anyway, I  GPS’ed the spot and came up with the co-ordinates of  37° 11.470'S 175° 4.268'E  Copy and Paste these co-ordinates into the “Search” box on Google Earth, press the  “Return” button on your keyboard, and it will take you there.

 

 

I find this object in the aerial photo is so obvious as being a crashed PA38-112, that I find it hard to believe it could be anything but that. We could find nothing that could describe what could have caused an illusion... especially one that could ‘fit the bill’ so much as this, especially taking into account the weight of evidence to say that this had to be ZK-WAC.

While we were in there, a training aircraft flew over, reinforcing the belief that this was very likely a common route to the force landing paddocks... a view backed up by one of the Instructors in the Waitamata Aero Club at the time, and from other sources.

You may ask, “If that is the case, then why did no-one see this back in 1988 when it was caught on the aerial photo? The answer is very simple... when you are training, you are watching out for other aircraft that might collide with you, not looking down into the bush. As I have said in the past, if you know there is an aircraft missing in a given area of bush, then that is a different matter... you would be often looking at the bush in the hope you might just see it. This is the main purpose for this website... to make people aware to keep a look out!

What do I believe happened to this object on this photo? One of three possibilities:

1/ Someone removed it.

2/ It was another PA38-112 that crashed there and was removed by helicopter and very few knew about it... or at least have forgotten about it?

3/ The aircraft was moved somewhere else in high winds that surely must have occurred in the last 25 years, especially if the motor had been removed as per what I heard many years ago (as per what I wrote on page 15 of this subject - making it lighter. The object appears to be suspended in the top of the tree canopy, which would give more chance for high winds to get under it and blow it away somewhere else.

If anyone has any information that could help solve this mystery, or even a theory that could explain this object shown on the photo, please contact me.

Actual Spot in relation to various Google Earth derived spots.

Terry armed with Metal Detector at bottom of hill at stream intersection

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