I've also observed many times how people have commented that a plane was definitely a particular model,
only to be proven at a later time that they were wrong, and I think you will find this is the case in this
instance. You'll note that they only report hearing/seeing one plane, but if the plane they observed was in
fact ZK-WAC, then they should have observed two planes - ZK-WAC and ZK-DQY. If they only heard
one plane, then it had to be ZK-DQY.
Most people are so keen on trying to be helpful that they are prepared to say what they think you want to
hear! Take for instance the amount of people in every report of every aircraft that I have researched, that
comment how the motor was running rough, blowing out smoke, back-firing, etc., etc., - ‘volunteering’
information to try to convince you that what they saw was the missing aircraft. I’m not trying to ‘get’ at
anyone here, it’s just a human trait that we are all guilty of.... myself included! It’s not done intentionally,
it’s just simply a human failing. The conclusion is, "I saw a plane - a plane has gone missing - so this must
be what I saw" and the memory will fill in the gaps!
As this evidence shows that there is a very obvious explanation to these observations, I feel that the
possibility of these observations being ZK-WAC can pretty much be ruled out.... but I could still
(obviously) be wrong!
If you have any other information that says otherwise, can you please let me know, after all, it's not a matter of whose right or wrong... it's a matter of we just want to find out what happened, where Paul disappeared to, and give the family some finality. This can obviously only be done if we physically
find the aircraft.
Lately I have been researching the possibility of the object in the 1988 aerial photo being moved from it’s location shown in the photo by high winds, and the first thought was Cyclone Bola.
I was amazed to find out that Cyclone Bola devastated the Country on the 7th to 10th March 1988, only 10 days before the NZAM photo was taken (20th March 1988)!
This could well explain why no-one had seen this object in the trees before this date.
There is a strong possibility that this apparent aircraft had crashed somewhere else close by and was at that time under the canopy of the trees. With the advent of Cyclone Bola, it had been blown up into this location. This could also explain why it appears to be suspended in the top of the trees, rather than vertically nose down between the trees as is common in other known crashes into bush. If it had dived into the trees on an acute angle as per what the eyewitness in Pinnacle Hill had described, then it most certainly would not be suspended in the top of the canopy. It certainly would not still be suspended there after the six years that it would have had to. Hence, this is why I was very surprised to see it in this aerial photo and for it to be so obvious!
This could also explain the lack of tree damage observed by us when we were there recently, although it is possible that the trees could have regenerated over the intervening years, but I would have thought there would have at least been signs of branches that had regrown crooked after being broken from a full on impact, but there was no apparent sign of this.
As there has since been three cyclones go through that area over the years since then (that I know of), and no doubt a lot of high winds from time to time, this would also explain why it is now not there.
With it being suspended up in the branches as per the aerial photo, it would have been easy for a strong easterly wind to carry it away even further, presumably towards the West or North West.
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