Date & Time: Dec 30, 1989 at 1532 LT
Type of aircraft:
Cessna 207 Skywagon/Stationair
Charter/Taxi (Non Scheduled Revenue Flight)
Milford Sound - Queenstown
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Two Cessna 207 Skywagon of Air Fiordland (ZK-DQF) and Milford Sound Scenic Flights (ZK-DAX) were engaged in a charter flight from Milford Sound to Queenstown, carrying Japanese tourists. On board ZK-DQF were six passengers and one pilot and four passengers and one pilot on board ZK-DAX. En route, while cruising over the Milford Sound area, both aircraft collided. While the pilot of ZK-DAX was able to perform an emergency landing, ZK-DQF entered a dive and crashed, killing all seven occupants. All five people on board ZK-DAX were rescued but both aircraft were destroyed.
The mid-air collision occurred because neither pilot saw the other aircraft in time. Causal factors were the pilot's restricted cockpit vision, a lack of pilot awareness to maintain an effective look-out; the unnecessarily high density of traffic and the unplanned merging of two streams of aircraft after a weather deterioration necessitated a change in route after departure.