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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From Bruce Bay northwards, it gets rather sketchy as the next sighting was somewhere between Fox and Franz Josef at 4.00pm and then the next at Ross at 5.00pm - and a lot of observations after that. The problem is that FMQ did not have the fuel capacity /endurance to still be flying at 5.00pm, (maximum fuel endurance of 3 hrs 20 mins) so it was thought that this aircraft at Ross could not possibly be FMQ. The answer to this is quite simple seeing as it doesn’t take 2 + hours to fly from Bruce Bay to Ross, a distance of 69 n.miles (34 ½ n.miles per hour). He had to have landed somewhere! The historical Niwa reports show that he would have been back to a NW wind. Bruce Bay to half way between Fox and Franz Josef = 25 n.miles - Reported time 4.00pm 100 knots = 2.55pm (15 mins) 110 knots = 2.54pm (14 mins) < 2.40pm Bruce Bay + 14 mins = 2.54 pm 120 knots = 2.52pm (12 mins) 130 knots = 2.51pm (11 mins)
Fox/Franz to Ross = 45 n.miles - Reported time 5.00pm 100 knots = 3.21pm (27 mins) Total time flying = 3hrs 21 mins 110 knots = 3.18pm (24 mins) 3hrs 18 mins 120 knots = 3.16pm (22 mins) 3hrs 16 mins 130 knots = 3.14pm (20 mins) 3hrs 14mins (Total endurance, including reserves = 3hrs 20 mins!) As you can see, according to these calculated times, it appears that he landed twice. Once between Bruce Bay and the Fox/Franz sighting point, and then again between Fox/Franz and Ross. This is very unlikely which means simply that the time given at Fox/Franz was either too early or too late.