24 Feb 2012

CAA endorses balloon maintenance company

11:20 pm on 24 February 2012

The company that sparked an urgent check of New Zealand's hot air balloon fleet has the endorsement of the Civil Aviation Authority.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission says a balloon that crashed near Carterton on 7 January, killing the pilot and 10 passengers, was not properly maintained or airworthy.

Hawke's Bay Aviation has confirmed it is the company that maintained the craft.

The Civil Aviation Authority is investigating the country's seven hot air balloon maintenance providers and checking 74 balloons.

Spokesperson Emma Peel says the authority is happy for the company in question to continue its work - for now.

Ms Peel says if investigators find anything over coming days that gives it urgent concern its stance will change.

The investigation into the fatal crash will conclude next Wednesday.