Formal order protects evidence at Wanaka crash site

9 Nov 2018
The accident helicopter
The accident helicopter

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has issued a formal order to protect evidence associated with a fatal accident involving a Hughes 500 helicopter that crashed near the Clutha River on 18 October 2018.

“The Commission’s investigation team made a full search of the site, working with Police and local people, in the days following the accident,” said the Chief investigator of Accidents, Capt. Tim Burfoot.

“Although the Commission has recovered what it believes to be anything of significance, it is possible that some evidence may remain at or around the accident site.

“The Commission has issued a Protection Order to support the gathering of any evidence that may remain on the ground or in the trees and shrubs in a roughly five hundred metre radius from the crash site. 

“The Protection Order requires anyone who finds parts or components of the accident helicopter, or any other accident evidence, to take it to Wanaka Police Station. If they prefer, they can contact the Commission.”

Capt. Burfoot said the Protection Order would remain in force until revoked – either writing by the Commission, or on publication of the Final Report, whichever is sooner.