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White Silence: The Break In – 1/6


This story is part of White Silence, a six-part podcast series from Stuff and RNZ to mark the 40th anniversary of the Erebus disaster

About this podcast series

On November 28, 1979, an airliner took off from Auckland Airport on a sightseeing trip to Antarctica.

There were 257 people on board.  hours later everyone was dead.

Somehow, the plane had flown directly into the Erebus volcano. This was a disaster that shattered a country’s psyche.

In the decades since, grief gave way to blame, anger and recrimination. Who was responsible for so many deaths? Was there a cover-up? How could a plane just fly into a mountain?

In White Silence, Michael Wright and Katy Gosset explore why New Zealand’s deadliest disaster was also its most controversial; why a nation was incapable of moving on; and why it was captured by one famous phrase: ‘an orchestrated litany of lies’.

This episodeBreak In

Perhaps the strangest twist in the whole saga of the Erebus disaster happened on the night of 29 March, 1980. 

Maria Collins remembers that night for several reasons.  

It was her birthday. It was also the first time she’d ventured out for an evening in four months, since her husband Jim had been killed while piloting the Air New Zealand DC10 that crashed in Antarctica, killing all 257 people on board.   MORE AT LINK

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