All Survive Westwind Ditching in Pacific

 - December 23, 2009, 7:08 AM

After three missed approaches at Norfolk Island in the South Pacific due to bad weather, Capt. Dominic James and first officer Zoe Cupit elected to ditch the Westwind. On the November 18 nighttime trip, they were flying a medical transport–a female patient and her husband–from Apia, Western Samoa, to Melbourne, Australia. The pilots planned to land the Pel-Air charter Westwind II at Norfolk to pick up fuel, but upon arrival the cloud base was at 200 feet, according to Pel-Air. During the planned ditching, the pilots kept the landing gear retracted but deployed full flaps. The aircraft remained intact and all six aboard survived. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating.