A new Air New Zealand safety video is out and although well done as usual, has angered many Kiwis. Why? Flight 901.
Check out the new safety video below. It is filmed in Antarctica and features stunning scenery highlighting the beauty of local wildlife and terrain. The video features Hollywood actor Adrian Grenier (who starred in this series called Entourage I’ve never watched but I remember as Anne Hathaway’s boyfriend in The Devil Wears Prada, one of my favorite movies…) and Kiwi scientists working at Scott Base in Antarctica.
Air New Zealand calls its “world’s coolest safety video,” with cool being a double entendre. But many expressed outrage over the new video, calling in insensitive to victims of Flight 901.
I didn’t know what “Flight 901” was before watching the video, but I do now. NZ901 was a Air New Zealand Antarctic sightseeing flight that operated from 1977-79. It would leave Auckland, fly for a few hours over Antarctica, then return to Christchurch. But on November 28, 1979, NZ901, operated by a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, slammed into Mount Erebus in Antarctica. All 237 passengers and 10 crew members onboard were killed. A mix of pilot error and last-minute changes to the flight plan were blamed for the crash.
Air New Zealand was accused of trying to hide its faults and obstruct the investigation. And although nearly 40 years have passed, the new video stirred up many raw emotions across New Zealand.
It is gutting to my family that Air New Zealand has so willingly chosen the very place my grandfather died to detail their safety procedures. Why? Because your administrative procedures caused your Air Nz plane to fly into a mountain with my grandfather on it. #Erebus
— KateOnTheGo (@KateOnTheGo) January 28, 2018
Air New Zealand claims it contacted as many families as it could while producing the video and received broad support for their new safety video.
I understand why many are offended over the new safety video. Antarctica is treated as a winter wonderland or playground, almost trivializing the loss of life on NZ901. However, I ultimately do not view the safety video as insensitive…instead, I believe the video highlights the good work that is going on in Antarctica and the beauty of the land. That, to me, does not trivialize lost life. What do you think?