Accident Mooney M20 ZK-BUN, 16 Sep 1960
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 63355
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Time:c. 0900
Type:Silhouette image of generic M20P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Mooney M20
Owner/operator:Petersen Aviation Ltd
Registration: ZK-BUN
MSN: 1130
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Raukura, Whanganui 4 -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Nature:Illegal Flight
Departure airport:Taupo, NZAP
Destination airport:Paraparaumu, NZPP
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
Pilot: Robin George Levick.

On the 7th of September 1960 the owner of ZK-BUN approached a flying instructor at Hastings asking if a prospective buyer of the plane, Mr Levick, could be given conversion dual instruction.
This was agreed to and a type rating was issued to Mr Levick after one hour of instruction.

Mr Levick had claimed to both the aircraft owner and the instructor to be an experienced commercial pilot, but this was not so. He was in fact the holder of a Student Pilot Licence.

On the day of the accident the pilot applied to another instructor for authority to make a solo flight to Paraparaumu from Napier. The pilot read out over the phone a route forecast he had obtained. The instructor then approved the proposed flight.
Mr Levick made no mention of flying via Taupo.

The aircraft took off from Napier and landed at Taupo where two passengers were seen to disembark. No persons other than the pilot had been seen to board the Mooney at Napier, but the duty communications officer had noticed that the plane spent about 5 minutes warming up at the end of the runway.
The carriage of passengers was not permitted under the conditions of an SPL.

At about 0900 witnesses working in the high country 4.5 miles north east of the town of Taihape heard an aircraft flying in cloud. One of these heard the sound of a crash and the other saw the plane emerge from the low cloud base in a vertical dive and then level out, before striking trees and crashing.

Added: I was one of the above 'witness', reading this after 62 years. The cloud cover was down to ground level with misty rain, my boss and I were on lambing beat on neighbouring farm. I had said on interview it sounded like a "dive and crash" however now more familiar with aeronautics, realise Robin had descended to gain visibility, realised bush and rising ground was ahead of him and attempted to gain altitude, hence the sound of full power which I mistakenly thought he had power dived into the ground. I was 17 years old. I knew where the crash occurred and was first on the scene. Robin had powered straight into the trees.

The aircraft was destroyed. There was no fire. The pilot was killed instantly.

The accident investigator's report came to the following conclusions :

29 (b). The pilot had been carrying two passengers when he was not qualified to do so.
29 (c). He obtained his initial conversion on to the type of aircraft by falsely representing himself to be a commercial pilot.
29 (d). He falsified his flying logbook to attempt to legalise his position.
29 (e). In obtaining authority for his cross-country flight he did not disclose his intention of flying via Taupo.
29 (f). He did not obtain a flight forecast for the section of the route Napier-Taupo-Taihape and the weather over this section was unsuitable.
29 (g). The following Civil Aviation Regulations were infringed :
Reg. 11 (1) Relating to false entries in logbooks.
Reg. 46 Relating to IFR flight by unqualified pilots.
Reg. 62 (1) (a) Relating to the obtaining of meteorological forecasts.
Reg. 84 (2) Relating to abandoning of a flight if weather conditions fall below VMC minima.
Reg 234 (2) Relating to unauthorised carriage of passengers by student pilots.

"30. Opinion.
The accident was caused by loss of control in cloud at a height which did not permit recovery before the aircraft struck the ground. "


Other occurrences involving this aircraft

3 Jul 2020 N3440X Private 0 Neenah, Wisconsin sub
Runway excursion.

Revision history:

22-May-2009 12:58 XLerate Added
26-Jun-2011 20:15 angels one five Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Damage, Narrative]
15-May-2013 08:35 angels one five Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
09-Oct-2014 18:04 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Narrative]
14-Dec-2014 11:33 angels one five Updated [Location, Narrative]
07-Feb-2022 06:04 Ron Averes Updated [Location, Narrative]
15-Feb-2022 01:58 Ron Averes Updated [Location]
09-Sep-2022 05:45 GnGasc Updated [Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2023 Flight Safety Foundation

701 N. Fairfax St., Ste. 250
Alexandria, Virginia 22314