Independent investigation into rescue helicopter accident on Mt Pirongia

20 Sep 2023

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) has opened an inquiry into the accident involving a BK117 helicopter that impacted terrain on Mt Pirongia on the afternoon of 19 September 2023.

TAIC investigators are travelling to the accident site.

Meanwhile, TAIC has placed a protection order on the occurrence site and any wreckage or evidence associated with it:

  • A 1 km perimeter around the reported final main wreckage resting location near Wharauroa Lookout 37° 59.43’S 175° 07.36’E
  • Any wreckage within this area or identified aircraft type components found in the vicinity outside this area

The evidence may assist in establishing the circumstances and causes of the accident. Anyone finding debris should report this to the police.

The Commission prohibits any person from accessing the evidence without prior written permission from the Commission.

It is an offence to not comply with this Order, which applies from 20 September 2023 until revoked in writing.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission opens an inquiry when it believes the circumstances of an accident or incident have - or are likely to have - significant implications for transport safety, or when the inquiry may allow the Commission to make findings or recommendations to improve transport safety.

The purpose of the Commission is to improve transport safety by avoiding repeat accidents, rather than by ascribing blame.