5 Mar 2013

Air Force crash case seen as weak

6:55 am on 5 March 2013

The father of an Air Force corporal killed in the 2010 Anzac Day helicopter crash says the charge an officer is facing following an investigation is weak.

Three men died when their Iroquois, which was flying in low cloud, crashed at Pukerua Bay, north of Wellington, while enroute with two other helicopters to a flypast at the capital's dawn ceremony.

The Defence Force says the formation leader has been charged with negligently failing to perform a duty, by failing to abort the mission when weather conditions deteriorated.

The charge does not allege this directly caused the accident

Andrew Carson, the father of Corporal Ben Carson, says there are other people who should be held accountable for the crash that killed his son.

A lawyer says the charge is less serious than other charges that could have been applied.

University of Canterbury dean of law Chris Gallavin said the charge is a generic one that carries a maximum prison sentence of two years.

He said there are a number of other serious charges that attract longer prison sentences, which could have been applied in this case.