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Date:Friday 3 October 2003
Type:Silhouette image of generic CVLT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Convair CV-580F
Operator:Air Freight NZ
Registration: ZK-KFU
MSN: 17
First flight: 1952
Total airframe hrs:66660
Engines: 2 Allison 501-D13D
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:10 km (6.3 mls) N off Paraparaumu (   New Zealand)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Christchurch International Airport (CHC/NZCH), New Zealand
Destination airport:Palmerston North Airport (PMR/NZPM), New Zealand
Flightnumber: 642
Convair 580 ZK-KFU was scheduled for 2 regular return night freight flights from Christchurch to Palmerston North. At 20:32 flight 642 started its takeoff from runway 20 on schedule and climbed to FL210. The flight progressed normally. At 21:13 the Wellington controller cleared the flight to descend initially to FL130 and later to FL110. After contacting Ohakea Control the crew were further cleared down to 7000 feet and were given vectors for the approach to Palmerston. The aircraft descended through an area of forecast severe icing, which was probably beyond the capabilities of the aircraft anti-icing system to prevent ice build-up on the wings and tailplane. The aircraft then probably stalled because of a rapid build-up of ice, pitching the aircraft nose down and probably disorientating the crew. Airspeed increased to 392 kts and the G loading was peaking at 3.21 G. The angle of bank was probably between 50° and 60°. Increasing torsional stress on the wing roots probably caused panels to buckle and separate. At an altitude of 6800 feet the wings and engines started to separate. Nine seconds later the remaining fuselage impacted the sea about vertically and at high speed.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: The TAIC accident investigation report did not contain a probable cause.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TAIC New Zealand
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 11 months
Accident number: 03-006
Download report: Final report
Language: English

Loss of control

» SKYbrary 

Follow-up / safety actions

TAIC issued 7 Safety Recommendations

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photo of Convair-CV-580F-ZK-KFU
accident date: 03-10-2003
type: Convair CV-580F
registration: ZK-KFU

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Christchurch International Airport to Palmerston North Airport as the crow flies is 434 km (271 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Convair CV-580

  • 182 built
  • 27th loss
  • 12th fatal accident
  • 10th worst accident (at the time)
  • 12th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 New Zealand
  • 12th worst accident
» safety profile

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