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Bad Weather Prevents Investigator From Properly Assessing Wreckage

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Bad Weather Prevents Investigator From Properly Assessing Wreckage New Zealand based air accident investigator Andrew McGregor during a press conference at Macuata House in Labasa on March 2, 2018. Photo: Shratika Naidu

New Zealand-based air accident investigator Andrew McGregor  said yesterday he could not properly assess the wreckage of the Cessna 172 aircraft because of bad weather.

He said he flew over the site in a chopper but the clouds were covering it.

“We could not make any assessment today.

“I was quite impressed with the level of help and resources available to assist in a true Fijian style.

“But we were not able to begin our work because the weather was stopping us.

“We will continue to access the wreckage and make our assessment and retrieve it.

“Unfortunately, the crash occurred in the most rugged part of the country,” he said.

“It is difficult to access and even more difficult to remove, as well as the weather is terrible.

“The weather is making it very difficult for us to do our work.”

When questioned how long and when the investigation will be completed, he said he does not know as they have not begun with their work.

“We will follow the international air accident protocol while carrying out the investigation and procedures,” he said.

“And the (procedures) require getting as much of the wreckage as possible and secured. We will begin our investigation as we receive the wreckage as evidence at hand.

“For international procedure, it is very important to get the wreckage as soon as possible, analyse it and carry out the assessment and obtain other information available for documentation. Based on the brief information available high impact forces were involved and therefore it is unlikely anyone could have survived this crash.

“It is one of the most difficult sites for a crash to happen as it is in mountainous terrain. It is inhospitable and rugged,” Mr McGregor said.

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