Accident Lockheed 18-56-23 Lodestar ZK-BMC, Sunday 20 October 1957
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Date:Sunday 20 October 1957
Time:07:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic L18 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Lockheed 18-56-23 Lodestar
Owner/operator:Fieldair
Registration: ZK-BMC
MSN: 18-2553
Year of manufacture:1943
Total airframe hrs:2898 hours
Engine model:Wright R-1820-G202A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:Bideford -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Nature:Agricultural
Departure airport:Masterton Airport (MRO/NZMS)
Destination airport:Masterton Airport (MRO/NZMS)
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
Lodestar ZK-BMC was operating several topdressing sorties in the area of Bideford. On the morning of October 20, the plane departed at 05:15 on the first sortie of the day. The operation proceeded normally, each flight taking 17 to 18 minutes to complete. At 06:40 hours it was apparent that a front was approaching from the south. The pilot decided to carry out one more flight and departed Masterton at 07:00. The aircraft struck a hill 1,350 feet (410 m) amsl, 8 feet below the crest in drizzle and poor visibility.

OPINION: "The cause of the accident was an error of judgment on the part of the pilot in electing to continue the flight in the face of deteriorating weather conditions, during which time the aircraft struck the top of the hill, while the pilot was attempting to maintain visual flight under instrument conditions."

Sources:

Report of a Civil Aircraft Accident No. 25/3/877: Accident involving Lockheed Lodestar ZK-BMC at Bideford, near Masterton, on 20 October 1957

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