Family calls for fresh Iroquois Anzac Day crash…

Family of one of the airmen who died in the Anzac Day Iroquois crash are calling on the Government to bend the rules and launch a fresh investigation into possible health and safety breaches.

State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie announced yesterday that the role of state sector agencies and the way they investigated military aircraft accidents would be reviewed as a result of the 2010 crash.

It has emerged that the former Labour Department did not investigate 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 killed when their Iroquois went down in cloudy conditions near Pukerua Bay en route to a dawn service fly-past in Wellington.

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

The department has a time limit of six months from the date of the incident to lay charges over health and safety breaches.

But Andrew Carson, the father of Ben Carson, said he felt the Crown Law Office was at fault for not informing the department it had jurisdiction.

“What should happen now is the Crown Law office should acknowledge it was unclear who should investigate and open a new investigation, either by the Department of Labour or the police, into the people responsible,” Mr Carson said.

He said he had little faith that would happen, as the individuals who would be scrutinised were too high-ranking within the Defence Force.

He was planning to lay a police complaint in the hope the air force personnel in charge of the mission that day would be held to account.

Mr Rennie said he would also appoint someone to review the actions taken to date by the Defence Force in response to the court of inquiry into the crash.

The inquiry found Defence Force protocols were partly to blame for causing a situation where the crew were not up to the task.

The only survivor of the crash, Sergeant Stevin Creeggan, is also trying to prosecute the Defence Force for its alleged failure to protect the welfare of an employee in the workplace.

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