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New probe into Kapiti chopper crash

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 17:08 08/10/2012
Iroquis crash
ANDREW GORRIE/Dominion Post
The wreckage of the Iroquois helicopter, which crashed on Anzac Day 2010 in Pukerua Bay.

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Two new investigations have been launched into the organisations responsible for dealing with the Anzac Day Iroquois crash that killed three servicemen.

State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie announced today that he will review the role of state sector agencies and the way they investigate military aircraft accidents.

The review was at the request of State Services Minister Jonathan Coleman, after it emerged the former Labour Department failed to investigate the 2010 crash because it mistakenly thought its jurisdiction did not extend to military aircraft.

Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, 33, Flying Officer Dan Gregory, 28, and Corporal Ben Carson, 25, were all killed when their Iroquois went down in cloudy condition near Pukerua Bay en route to a dawn service fly-past in Wellington.

The fourth crewman on board, Sergeant Stevin Creeggan, was the only survivor.

At the time, the Labour Department - now part of the Business, Innovation and Enterprise Ministry (Mobie) - referred the incident to the Civil Aviation Authority, which investigates aircraft crashes.

The time limit within which the department could have prosecuted over health and safety failures has now passed.

Mr Rennie said he would also appoint someone to review the actions taken to date by the New Zealand Defence Force in response to the Court of Inquiry into the crash.

The inquiry, which was made public in December, found Defence Force protocols were partly to blame for causing a situation where the crew piloting the doomed Iroquois were not up to the task.

The review would also cover the Defence Force implementation plan for further improvements in light of the findings, Mr Rennie said.

That review was also at the request of Dr Coleman, who is also Defence Minister.

An independent review of alleged failings by the Defence Force in how it dealt with the families of the airmen involved after the crash is still ongoing.

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- The Dominion Post

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