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Thu, Nov 10, 2011

NZ CAA Issues Prelim On Oct. 17 Crash

Cattle On Runway, Downwind Landing Attempt Preceded Stall

Authorities in New Zealand are placing at least part of the blame for the October 17 crash of a Cessna 172 on cattle on the runway. (Similar aircraft pictured.) The pilot, identified by the New Zealand Herald as 59-year-old Ian Douglas Sloan of Tauranga, was carrying two passengers. The passenger in the front seat made a video recording of the landing attempts using his iPhone, which has aided investigators in piecing together what happened.

The CAA's preliminary report finds that Sloan, on his return from a day trip to Invercargill, was on approach to land at the private airstrip about two kilometers south of Arrowtown, but had to break it off for cattle on the runway. He reportedly made a low pass in the 172 to scare the livestock off the strip, and came around for a downwind landing attempt.

Witnesses and the video suggest touchdown didn't come until halfway down the strip, and the aircraft got caught in a crosswind. What followed appears to have been another attempted go-around which ended in a departure stall. The 172 is said to have hit a mound on an adjacent golf course.

Sloan suffered fatal injuries. His passengers were injured but survived. CAA says the investigation will include human factors which may have influenced decision-making.

FMI: www.caa.govt.nz/Accidents_and_Incidents/Accident_Reports/ZK_JFI_fatal_prelim.pdf

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