Accident GAF Nomad N.22 ZK-NOM, Monday 25 October 1993
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Date:Monday 25 October 1993
Type:Silhouette image of generic NOMA model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
GAF Nomad N.22
Owner/operator:Hibiscus Air
Registration: ZK-NOM
MSN: 4
Year of manufacture:1975
Total airframe hrs:3850 hours
Engine model:Allison 250-B17B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Franz Josef Glacier -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Mount Cook-Glentanner Airport (GTN/NZGT)
Destination airport:Queenstown-Frankton Airport (ZQN/NZQN)
Investigating agency: TAIC
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The aircraft, a GAF Nomad N.22, had been chartered to fly a German group to a number of tourist destinations in New Zealand. On day 7 of the tour the group was to be flown from Mount Cook to Queenstown. The flight was to include scenic flying in the Mount Cook region. The flight took off from Mount Cook-Glentanner Airport at 11:55. While en route the crew made position reports by radio and was seen flying below the 3500 feet cloud base in the Franz Josef Valley.
The aircraft's position and its heading, more or less directly up the centre-line of the Franz Josef Glacier, drew the attention of a witness. It was then seen to fly at 400-500 feet over the glacier. The aircraft continued until it struck a severely crevassed and pinnacled upper ice-fall of Franz Josef Glacier at an elevation of 4500 feet (1370 m) amsl.

The probable cause of this accident was the decision to attempt to climb above the lower region of Franz Josef Glacier which had an average slope steeper than the aircraft could outclimb. A causal factor was the crew's lack of training and experience in mountain flying rendering them vulnerable to visual misperception. Probable contributing factors included a cloud layer limiting the position and altitude at which climb could be commenced and an optimistic assessment ofthe aircraft's capability and progress during the climb.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TAIC
Report number: 93-014
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 6 months
Download report: Final report


TAIC Investigation 93-014


  • 37th worst accident in 1993
  • 6th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 3rd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) TAIC; Franz Josef Glacier; 25 October 1993

photo (c) Claudia Meg Broughton; Ardmore Airport (AMZ/NZAR); 18 October 1993

photo (c) via Werner Fischdick; Paris-Le Bourget Airport (LBG); June 1975

Revision history:


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