Twenty months after nine people died in a fiery plane crash at Fox Glacier, the final report into what caused the tragedy will be released tomorrow.
Four tourists, four skydive masters and their Queenstown pilot died in the crash, about 1.15pm on September 4, 2010, shortly after the Fletcher FU24 turboprop plane took off from the Fox Glacier airstrip.
The crash occurred just a few hours after the first large earthquake in Christchurch.
An interim report in 2010 found that the plane was carrying excessive weight and its centre of gravity was off balance, with too many people sitting towards the back.
According to that report, numerous witnesses saw the left wing drop before the plane hit the ground in a near-vertical attitude, exploding in a ball of flames.
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission said this morning its final report would be released tomorrow, with a media conference in Wellington.
Four of the passengers on the flight were overseas tourists off a Kiwi Experience bus intending to do a tandem jump, and the other four were skydive masters employed by Skydive New Zealand. Company co-owner Rodney Miller, 55, of Greymouth, was among the victims.
The interim report issued soon after the accident restricted the number of passengers in the forward cabin to six. Pilots were also required to weigh passengers and their equipment before each flight, and ensure they were positioned inside the aircraft so as not to upset the centre of gravity.
The coroner's inquest into the disaster will be held from August 13-17, in Greymouth.
- The Greymouth Star