11 Sep 2012

Minister orders review of Iroquois crash findings

5:07 pm on 11 September 2012

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman is commissioning an independent review arising from a fatal Iroquois crash that killed three men.

Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, Flying Officer Dan Gregory and Corporal Ben Carson died when their helicopter crashed into a hill at Pukerua Bay in low cloud on Anzac Day in 2010.

The Defence Force held a Court of Inquiry following the crash and released a report in December last year that found the squadrons were not being trained or supervised properly.

It also found there was a culture of rule-breaking in the Air Force that needed to be addressed.

Dr Coleman said on Tuesday the court issued 27 recommendations and he would commission an independent review of whether they have had any effect.

It would also look at whether correct processes were followed in investigating the crash.

A former flight commander says he warned the Defence Force that helicopter crews were risking their lives five months before the Iroquois crash.

Former Squadron Leader Rob Stockley said he emailed his superior officers in 2009, warning them that Squadron 3's 'can-do attitude' could have fatal consequences. He said risk taking was common and safety rules were being broken.

Dr Coleman would not comment on the email.