Anzac Day chopper crash report to be released

An Air Force Iroquois helicopter lies on a steep hillside near Pukerua Bay after the crash that killed three of its four crewmen last year. Photo / Mark Mitchell
An Air Force Iroquois helicopter lies on a steep hillside near Pukerua Bay after the crash that killed three of its four crewmen last year. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The mother of the Air Force pilot killed in a helicopter crash on Anzac Day last year says there will be no surprises in a report into the incident to be released tomorrow.

A Defence Force court of inquiry was launched after the Iroquois helicopter crashed in low cloud at Pukerau Bay, north of Wellington, on its way to a dawn flyover in the capital on April 25 last year.

Pilot Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, 33, co-pilot Flying Officer Daniel Gregory, 28, and crewman Corporal Ben Carson, 25, were killed in the crash.

Sergeant Stevin Creeggan, 37, survived but suffered serious injuries.

The inquiry, which looked into the circumstances leading up to the crash, is likely to make recommendations to the Air Force in its report.

Lieutenant Madsen's mother Julie, who with her husband Peter lives in Napier, said the Air Force had been very supportive and communicative throughout the inquiry.

Families were given an interim copy of the report at least a month ago and there were "no surprises" in its findings, she said.

"I commend the Air Force because they have taken on an incredible amount of responsibility for what happened.

"But bottom line, like we all said, if the weather hadn't been the way it was, none of us would be having these discussions. It's a trip the boys have made a zillion times before, and under normal circumstances they would have carried on to Wellington and nothing would have happened."

Mrs Madsen said the family did not want to dwell on the crash but to celebrate the good times with her son.

"Our focus is not any more on the accident, but more on the legacy that Hayden left with us and the memories and the laughs and the support and fun that we've had with his mates."

- APNZ

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