Aviation safety investigations & reports

Technical assistance to the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, involving the analysis of an audio recording of communications between air traffic control and the pilot of Beechcraft Baron G58, registered N254F on 30 March 2013

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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:

www.caa.govt.nz, and



Released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

General details
Date: 30 March 2013   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 2247 UTC   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Off the coast of Kawhia, New Zealand    
State: International   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 15 September 2014   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Beech Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model Baron G58  
Aircraft registration N254F  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Ardmore, New Zealand  
Destination Timaru, New Zealand  
Last update 14 November 2018