N.Z. air force operations under scrutiny

Dec. 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- New Zealand air force operations are under increased government scrutiny in the wake of a 2010 fatal crash.

Three air force personnel were killed April 25, 2010, Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter went down in cloudy conditions near Pukerua Bay en route to a dawn service fly-past in Wellington to mark Anzac Day.

"The (air force) is taking every step it can take to ensure it never happens again," State Services and Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman said.

He said that after an independent review into the crash, it was determined that greater change was needed "to ensure that another major accident will not occur," The New Zealand Herald reported.

"We accept all... recommendations and we will ensure that these are implemented," said Chief of Air Force Air Vice Marshal Peter Stockwell in a statement.

Coleman had ordered the inquiries after media reports determined that the military missed warnings and safety failings led to the fatalities.

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