Checkpoint. 1979-11-29 : Erebus.
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Checkpoint current affairs programme from 29 Nov 1979, focussing on the Air New Zealand air crash on Mount Erebus in Antarctica. Presented by Annie Goldson with co-producer Caroline McGrath. Studio operator is Matthew Finn.
An interview with Dr Bob Thompson, head of the Antarctic Division of the DSIR who reports on the findings of the team of mountaineers who have visited the site of the Air New Zealand crash on Mt Erebus yesterday.
He says they found some bodies but it is unlikely that all can be recovered.
He gives a detailed description of conditions at the crash site and the difficulties it presents.
Teams from the United States will soon join the mountaineers in the search for the 'black box' flight recorder. Radio New Zealand journalist Peter Minson gives an account of the timeline of events leading to the crash.
He outlines the previous criticism of civilian tourist flights to the region, due partly to the lack of adequate rescue facilities. DSIR press officer Keith Clegg has said the DSIR Antarctic scientific personnel have now had to turn into rescue personnel, which they are not trained for. Press travel writer Les Bloxham has also been critical in the past of the tourism flights.
Dr Trevor Hatherton, Director of Geophysics at the DSIR is interviewed by telephone. He doesn't believe flying to the Antarctic is inherently more difficult except at low altitudes. He also supports the DC10 aircraft, which has had a troubled history recently.
Dr Paul Haller [?] specialist in aerospace law, was interviewed via a very poor telephone line, so his comments are read in studio. He explains the process of the air accident investigation and the significance of finding the flight recorder. He also comments on the legal implications for Air New Zealand.
Dr Bob Thompson is interviewed further about the recovery process and the impact the disaster has had on the Antarctic personnel.