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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Summing Up

 

After the 5000 ft call, it appears MDX lost all form of communication, and attempted to get through to Williamtown from there but was blocked by a wall of cloud, and so followed this wall all the way out to the coast. Being still blocked out at the coast, they then proceeded towards Tamworth hoping to land there but again was blocked by cloud within a few miles of the goal. After circling for anything up to 1/2 an hour (according to a witness) in the hope of the cloud clearing, they then proceeded south in the hope they could get around the Barringtons and proceed across the lower lying country to Williamtown... especially as by then they would have been getting low on fuel.
So here we have a pilot (Mike Hutchins) who had flown Sydney to Proserpine the day before (about at least a 6 hr flight), most likely had a sleepless night due to the hotter climate and sleeping in a boat, then had something like a four hour’d flight back to Coolangatta, had a short break, and then was back in the air for something like another 4 hrs. Mike would have by that time been suffering extreme fatigue - and fatigue and stress which would have made it easy to make mistakes. So it is not inconceivable to think he has mistakenly thought he was further south than where they actually were, and so turned towards what he thought was the direction towards Williamtown – unfortunately in reality towards the Barringtons and higher ground.

It’s well within the realm of possibility that when confronted with cloud shrouding the ranges from view, after flying over “Bon Accord” in his fatigued state and needing fuel in mind, he has decided he has no option but to enter cloud again (thinking they were further south, and safe) – after all he was a trained IFR pilot, so had no fears of flying in cloud – even with a limited instrument panel... and a very basic auto-pilot. However, the climb rate from Upper Rochel to “Bon Accord” did not afford enough height to clear the ranges, so it is logical that is where they will be.

 

Due to the current events happening in the World at present, it is very unlikely I will be able to travel over from NZ for a very long time to search this area myself, so it is now up to you all that live over there to do the searching. If I was able to get there, this is the area I would be concentrating on.

 

 

 

 

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MDX pg 72