Another View: Produce Erebus evidence

By Captain Derek Ellis

1 comment

It is ridiculous, but unfortunately typical, of the NZ Airline Pilots' Association to accuse the Government of failing to meet its international air safety obligations by declining to lodge the Mahon report with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Why should the Government portray naivete by lodging such a discredited accident report with the international body? NZALPA should accept that this accident report is so flawed that it caused its sole author, then High Court Judge, Peter Mahon, to lose his position as a judge, and to fail in his appeals to both the NZ Court of Appeal, and to the Privy Council in London; New Zealand's highest appellate court.

NZALPA's behaviour during the Erebus accident investigation should be disclosed. They were represented, along with other employee representative bodies, at Air New Zealand's inquiry into the accident and were privileged to be supplied with all documentation relating to the accident. They should now admit to leaking information to the media causing much of the sensational reporting that occurred at the time.

Pilots' Association president Glen Kenny should also disclose his organisation's part in tampering with crucial evidence, particularly the missing pages from a loose leaf binder found at the accident site with its pages intact.

The New Zealand Government's official report into the Erebus tragedy is the report prepared by chief inspector of air Accidents, the late Ron Chippindale, and his team of accident investigators. It is that report which has been filed with ICAO. It is that report which correctly assessed the cause of the accident as being the action of Captain Jim Collins flying his aircraft at very low altitude, 1500 feet, (and high speed), into an area of poor surface and horizon definition.

Mahon's villainous allegations of being told lies by Air NZ employees under oath have been subjected to intense police scrutiny. If found to have told lies when giving evidence charges of perjury would follow, but no charges were laid. No lies were told at the Royal Commission of Enquiry into the Erebus tragedy.

I challenge Glen Kenny to produce evidence of lies so dramatically reported by Peter Mahon.

- Northern Advocate

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