New Zealand’s largest aviation union, E tū is today commemorating two aviation tragedies which happened on the same day 29 years apart.
In 1979, an Air New Zealand scenic flight over Antarctica crashed into Mt Erebus killing all 257 people on board including 20 crew.
E tū aviation members and union representatives will attend the annual wreath-laying at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden at Auckland Airport this afternoon.
There will be a minute’s silence at 1.49pm (12:49 NZST) – the time the crash occurred.
E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage says the memorial remembers the crew who died there including 15 cabin crew who never came home from work.
Today is also the 10th anniversary of the crash involving an Air NZ A320 which crashed off the coast of Perpignan in France in 2008.
Five New Zealand aviation workers died in that crash including Air New Zealand engineers Murray White, Michael Gyles and Noel Marsh.
“Just as we honoured the memory of the men who died at Pike River, so we should remember the people who died in the Erebus tragedy and in the A320 crash,” says Savage.
“Air disasters are a tragedy for everyone involved but we should never forget that they are also workplace accidents.
“Our aviation industry connects us to the world. Our entire economy and the lives of workers and passengers alike is dependent on maintaining the highest possible aviation safety standards”.
What: wreath-laying at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden
Where: Auckland Airport – the memorial is located to the side of the Tom Pearce Drive 300m north of Puhunui Road roundabout
When: 28th November 1.30pm – there is a minute’s silence at the time of impact 1:49 (12:49 NZST)