16 Aug 2012

Plane owner admits safety check failings

8:52 am on 16 August 2012

The co-owner of a skydiving plane that crashed at Fox Glacier in 2010, killing all nine on board, has admitted failing to carry out safety procedures while operating another aircraft for the company.

The converted top dressing plane crashed on 4 September 2010.

One of the theories put forward to explain the crash is that pilot Chaminda Senadhira failed to properly adjust the rudder prior to take-off, something he had failed to do just two weeks before the crash.

Aircraft co-owner John Kerr told an inquest in Greymouth on Wednesday that on at least six occasions he too had failed to check the rudder on another aircraft he flew for the skydiving company.

He said missing the rudder check was not as important on the less powerful plane the company used previously, but was important on the Fletcher aircraft they switched to just prior to the crash.

Mr Kerr also admitted not giving a pre-flight briefing to passengers as required under aviation rules.