Last words on Flight 901 - Mt Erebus disaster

The following is a shortened transcript from the cockpit voice recorder of Air New Zealand Flight 901, which hit Mt Erebus in Antarctica 30 years ago on November 28, 1979, killing all 257 people on board. Times are GMT.

00:46:02

Commentator Peter Mulgrew: "This is Peter Mulgrew speaking again folks. I still can't see very much at the moment. Keep you informed soon as I see something that gives me a clue as to where we are. We're going down in altitude now and it won't be long before we get quite a good view."

00:46:35

Flight Engineer Gordon Brooks: "Where's Erebus in relation to us at the moment?"

Mulgrew: "Left, about 20 or 25 miles."

Unidentified Crew: "Left do you reckon?"

Unidentified Crew: "Well I don't know... I think."

Unidentified Crew: "I've been looking for it."

First Officer Greg Cassin: "Yep, yep."

Brooks: "I'm just thinking about any high ground in the area that's all."

Mulgrew: "I think it'll be left."

Unidentified Crew: "Yes, I reckon about here."

Mulgrew: "Yes... no, no, I don't really know."

00:48:46

Captain Jim Collins: "Actually, these conditions don't look very good at all, do they?"

Mulgrew: "No they don't."

(The crew have trouble reaching McMurdo Station on the radio.)

00:49:08

Mulgrew: "That looks like the edge of Ross Island there."

Brooks: "I don't like this."

Collins: "Have you got anything from him?"

Cassin: "No"

Collins: "We're 26 miles north. We'll have to climb out of this."

Cassin: "It's clear on the right and (well) ahead."

Collins: "Is it?"

Cassin: "Yes."

Mulgrew: "You can see Ross Island? Fine."

Cassin: "Yes, you're clear to turn right...

Collins: "No... negative."

Cassin: "There's no high ground if you do a one eighty."

DC10 Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS): "Whoop, whoop. Pull up. Whoop whoop."

Brooks: "Five hundred feet."

GPWS: "Pull up."

Brooks: "Four hundred feet."

GPWS: "Whoop, whoop. Pull up. Whoop whoop. Pull up."

Collins: "Go-around power please."

GPWS: "Whoop, whoop. Pull -."

(End of recording)

NZPA

source: newshub archive