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NZ-based expert to investigate crash

Aqela Susu
Thursday, March 01, 2018

A NEW Zealand-based air accident investigator is arriving in the country this morning to carry out an independent investigation on Cessna 172 aircraft, registration DQFTR that crashed in Vanua Levu on Monday.

Civil Aviation Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Andrew McGregor, who specialised in providing air accident investigation services and forensic engineering, was appointed by Government to carry out an independent investigation.

Mr McGregor has been engaged in the past by the New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission to assist with air accident investigations.

"In Fiji, he was most recently engaged by the Fijian Department of Civil Aviation to investigate the crash of a Cessna 172 plane that crashed in the mountains North East of Nadi in 2007. He led the investigation into the helicopter crash off the coast of Nadi in 2006," Mr Sayed- Khaiyum said.

"Upon his arrival, Mr McGregor will immediately be transported to the crash site to begin the investigation into the cause of the crash."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Mr McGregor would then report regularly to the Department of Civil Aviation on his findings.

"We will, of course, update the public on the findings of the investigation as they arise, but anticipate it will take some time to determine exactly what happened."

The Pacific Flying School Cessna 172 plane went missing after it failed to land at Labasa Airport on Monday.

PFS instructor Iliesa Nawalo and pilot trainee Merelisita Lutu were on board the plane when it went missing.

Their bodies were discovered during a joint search by teams from the Fiji Police Force and the Republic of Fiji Military Force in the Delaikoro Mountain area where the wreckage of the plane was found early yesterday.



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