New Kapiti Iroquois crash probe

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 11:24 11/09/2012
Iroquis crash
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VICTIMS: Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, 33, Flying Officer Dan Gregory, 28, and Corporal Ben Carson, 25, were killed in the crash on Anzac Day, 2010.

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An independent inquiry will scrutinise the Defence Force's response to the Anzac Day helicopter crash in Kapiti which killed three men.

Defence minister Jonathan Coleman says the probe will ensure recommendations made in the wake of the 2010 accident were acted on.

Pilot Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, 33, co-pilot Flying Officer Daniel Gregory, 28, and crewman Corporal Ben Carson, 25 died when their Iroquois crashed on the Kapiti coast in bad weather. They were on flight to honour fallen servicemen.

A subsequent court of inquiry found a culture of rule breaking was behind the tragedy and said procedures were too complex.

Coleman said this morning, his inquiry will ensure all 27 recommendations made by the court of inquiry were followed up. ''It won't be around looking for someone to blame,'' he said.

The public needs reassurance '' that the airforce is actually doing what they said they would''.

He added: '' I'm confident that they have been. The chief of the air force reassured me that good progress has been made but I'm looking to get that third party objective on it.''

He will meet with officials this week and decide on a terms of reference. The individual appointed to lead the inquiry will be ''someone independent of the defence force.''

''We won't want a lengthy delay on this. We want it to be done as quickly as possible,'' he stressed.

Military police have concluded their investigation, and Crown Law are deliberating if further charges will be laid. ''The ball is in Crown Law's court at the moment,'' Coleman said.

The flight authorising officer was convicted for failing to comply with written orders - but last month the conviction was overturned on appeal.

Sergeant Stevin Creeggan, the sole survivor of the crash, has taken legal against the Defence Force and the chief of defence for failing to protect his welfare in the workplace. 

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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