“A 1988 New Zealand television miniseries about Air New Zealand Flight 901, which crashed in Antarctica in 1979. The miniseries, a docudrama, was produced by Television New Zealand, and was broadcast in New Zealand and Australia and follows the Royal Commission of Inquiry formed to quell to public demand for a conclusive answer to the question as to what caused the accident that left 257 dead.
The New Zealand Government announced a further one-man Royal Commission of Inquiry into the accident, to be performed by Justice Peter Mahon.
Mahon's report, released on April 27, 1981, cleared the crew of blame for the disaster. Justice Mahon said the single, dominant and effective cause of the crash was the changing of the aircraft's navigation computer co-ordinates to route the aircraft directly towards Mount Erebus, without the crew being advised. The new flight plan took the aircraft directly at the mountain, rather than along its flank. Due to whiteout conditions, "a malevolent trick of the polar light", the crew were unable to visually identify the mountain in front of them. Furthermore, they may have experienced a rare meteorological phenomenon called sector whiteout which creates the visual illusion of a flat horizon far in the distance. Justice Mahon also found that the radio communications centre at McMurdo Station had authorised Captain Collins to descend to 450 metres (1500 feet), which is below the minimum safe level.
Justice Mahon controversially claimed airline executives engaged in a conspiracy to whitewash the enquiry, famously accusing them of "an orchestrated litany of lies" by covering up evidence and lying to investigators.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_New_Zealand_Flight_901
Part 4: Mahon releases his report to horror of Air New Zealand. The airline, Civil Aviation and the Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, reject the report. Meanwhile a police investigation into possible criminal culpability on the behalf of Air NZ begins. All criminal chrages are dropped and the Government dismisses Mahon’s report. Mahon appeals to the Privy Council.