On 30 March 2013, a Beechcraft Baron G58 aircraft, registered N254F,with two persons on board, took off from Ardmore Aerodrome, New Zealand on private instrument flight rules (IFR) flight to Timaru, New Zealand. Shortly after the aircraft reached the intended cruise altitude of 18,000 feet (Flight Level 180), the aircraft began descending at a high rate and subsequently collided with the water. Both occupants were fatally injured.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of New Zealand is investigating the accident. On 11 December 2013, investigating officials contacted the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and requested assistance with the analysis of air traffic control audio recordings containing transmissions from the accident aircraft. To facilitate this assistance and protect the audio data and sensitive information received from the CAA, an external investigation was initiated under the provisions of the Australian Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.
The ATSB has completed an analysis of the recordings and has provided the results of this analysis to the CAA of New Zealand.
Further information on the CAA investigation, including an interim factual report on the occurrence can be found on the CAA website, at:
Released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.