segunda-feira, 30 de junho de 2008

Nelson knew about E Timor Black Hawk crash

Federal Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson has revealed he knew about an army Black Hawk helicopter crash in East Timor last year which was never made public.
Details of the helicopter crash are reportedly contained in an inquiry report into the fatal crash of another Black Hawk helicopter off Fiji in 2006.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is under pressure to publicly release the report into the 2006 crash.
Dr Nelson was defence minister at the time and he says he was informed about the East Timor incident, which he has described as a "heavy landing".
Dr Nelson said it the Defence Department chose not to make the incident public.
"I was advised that no-one had been injured in that and that the matter was being investigated. On the basis of the information provided to me at the time, I think Defence made the right decision," he said.
"You need to understand that when you've got troops and equipment deployed into many theatres throughout the world, it is a very common, very frequent occurrence for incidents involving equipment to be reported to the Chief of Defence and therein to the minister. Not all of them are released to the media for good operational reasons.
"But certainly on the basis of what was reported to me at the time - it was reported to me as an incident involving a heavy landing of a Black Hawk helicopter - the Defence people themselves were investigating it and I expect that the outcome of that investigation will be released by the Chief of Defence when he's satisfied that it's complete."
Pressed on whether the incident was kept quiet because of political sensitivities close to an election and after the crash off Fiji, Dr Nelson issued an emphatic denial, saying that was "an outrageous assertion".
Earlier today, Opposition defence spokesman Nick Minchin told ABC Radio's AM program that he had no knowledge of the crash, though he was a member of the then-government's security Cabinet at the time.
"This is the first I've heard of it so I think I'd be pretty safe in saying there was nothing done by the Howard government to suppress any report of this incident," he said.
But Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon says it is normal for the Department to work out its response to a report before it is released.
"I want to ensure that in keeping with community expectations and of course the expectations of the families involved, that Defence is in a position to respond to both the report and its recommendations when it's released, so I don't want to be pre-empting any of those comments now," he said.
Sad history
The Black Hawk helicopter has supporters and detractors, the former believing it to be an irreplaceable piece of military hardware, the latter pointing to a large death toll involving the choppers.
In 1996, 18 soldiers and air crew died in a training exercise near Townsville. A dozen more were injured.
In 2006 came the accident near Fiji, when a Black Hawk smashed into the side of HMAS Kanimbla before plunging into the ocean, killing an SAS trooper and the pilot.
Last year's incident in East Timor came just two days after a report had been made public into the crash of the Sea King helicopter in Indonesia, an accident that claimed nine lives.
In line with Dr Nelson's remarks about the East Timor incident, military sources have told the ABC that the incident was not so much an accident as a "hard landing".
That Black Hawk has not flown since the East Timor incident, although the Defence Department will not comment on or confirm reports about it.
Reporting by Jean Kennedy and Simon Santow.

5 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

Any dead?

1-6 what?
Fotos or film?

Why hiden?


Anónimo disse...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel

Anónimo disse...

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