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It’s very interesting what this friend was taught when he attended CPL school at Wanganui.... the same school Ned attended two years later!

His opinion was that if Ned had resigned himself that he had no option but to carry out  a “rough terrain forced landing”, then he would have turned into the bush on the left hand side of the river in the direction he was going. This is because to a pilot sitting on the left hand side of the plane, a turn to the left gives the best visibility.

At the time Ned was re-entering the river, a forced landing probably wasn’t on his mind, otherwise he more than likely would have attempted a landing on the beach. Although Peter and Jenny had a wire rope for launching their boat that ran from a point just to the left of their house in the photo below, to the rock outcrop further out off the coast, there was still more beach that Ned could have landed on further along past the rope, although due to what was left of the beach not being all that long,, it would have made it a very marginal landing. At that point I think he was still trying to avoid damaging the aeroplane. He was hoping for a better outcome.

Once he entered the river again, if the weather had deteriorated further - as in a sudden down pour of heavy rain, he would have no option but to force land as there was not enough room to turn around.  Even if there was, being so close to the ground the likelihood of crashing would be very high anyway. There’s a much better chance of survival being in a controlled crash, than an uncontrolled one.

The Lodge at Moeraki didn’t recall hearing a plane that afternoon. EBU would have been on a low power setting virtually gliding as it descended along the river heading out to the sea, and so the chances of the Lodge hearing it going that direction when there was rain on the roof, and with a diesel generator running, is very unlikely, however, when it was coming back up the river in a bad weather configuration (some flap down, going slow), Ned would have had a lot of power on, being a heavy aircraft flying at a low speed, so even with the external noise, people at the Lodge should have heard it. This can only mean one of two things. Either EBU flew further southwest - too far away from the  Lodge for them to hear it (very doubtful), or it never made it that far up the river. The Lodge is only 1 nm from the coast.

If Ned carried out the rough terrain forced landing procedure he was most likely taught at the Wanganui CPL school, then logically they will be found somewhere on the north eastern side of the river. This makes it very interesting, as one of the locations of where the the then 7 year old girl said she may have seen it, is in that area... (“Close to Pluto’s house”)!

It is also logical that he may have carried out that procedure relatively soon after seeing the lights of Peter and Jenny’s house, knowing that there was help nearby. “Pluto’s house” is directly ahead on the bend in the river, although he was not home at that time. Ned would probably have noticed his house when they were flying out to the coast, a few minutes earlier.

1981 NZAM Aerial Photo Overlaid On Google Earth



ZK-EBU Pg 12

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