Aviation TAIC opens inquiry into accident involving rescue helicopter at Auckland Islands

23 April 2019
The accident aircraft (Photo (c) Derek Quinn | www.111emergency.co.nz)
The accident aircraft (Photo (c) Derek Quinn | www.111emergency.co.nz)

The Commission has opened an inquiry into an accident involving a BK117 helicopter near the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands on the evening of 22 April 2019.

The circumstances reported to date are that the helicopter, with three people on board, was on a medical evacuation mission. It was last heard from at 7:37pm on approach to the Auckland Islands. 

The operator reported the helicopter overdue at 2015, and a search and rescue operation was initiated.

The three people on board were located alive on Auckland Island on the following morning. Searchers also located helicopter wreckage in the sea nearby.

UPDATE: 23 April 2019
The Commission has issued a Protection Order protecting the wreckage and the accident site, and directing that any evidence found be handed to the Commission. The Order is to All Persons, and forbids disturbance or movement of the wreckage without express consent of the Commission. Anyone already in possession of elements of the wreckage is directed to notify TAIC. 
 
UPDATE: 8 May 2019
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has given consent for another party to recover the wreckage of the helicopter. The Commission’s Protection Order remains in place.