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Funeral service for three airmen at Ohakea

Funeral service for three airmen at Ohakea
A casket is carried from Iroquois helicopters into the No. 1 hangar before the service. (OH10-0311-017.jpg)

29 April 2010

A full military funeral service for Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, Flying Officer Daniel Gregory and Corporal Benjamin Carson was held at 1.30pm today at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea.

FLTLT Madsen, FGOFF Gregory and CPL Carson were tragically killed when their Iroquois helicopter crashed near Pukerua Bay, Wellington on Anzac Day.

Before the service, the men’s caskets were flown to the Base by three Air Force Iroquois helicopters from No. 3 Squadron where they were taken to No.1 Hangar.

Over 2000 Air Force and Defence Force personnel, together with VIPs, joined the families to farewell the young airmen in a service led by Air Force Chaplain Wing Commander Ross Falconer.

The Prime Minister, representatives of the families and fellow aircrew spoke about the three young men and Commanding Officer of No. 3 Squadron Wing Commander Russell Mardon also paid tribute.

Later this afternoon, the caskets will be taken from No. 1 Hangar to No. 3 Hangar where they will be met by the families for private services.

Air Force personnel will line the route as the caskets pass, together with a 100-person guard of honour and firing party, the Air Force haka will also performed as the Air Force say farewell to three of their own.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.

ENDS

Additional images will be released later this afternoon.

No further comment will be made today.


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