2 Maret 2010CT-4E of the RNZAF's Red Checkers (photo : Airliners)
The Royal New Zealand Air Force's Red Checkers flying display team has been grounded following the 1 March collision of two of the team's aircraft. The incident happened just weeks after a team member died in an air crash.
"During training this morning [1 March] two aircraft of the RNZAF display team touched causing minor damage to one of the aircraft," says the New Zealand Defence Force. The Pacific Aerospace CT/4E trainers then landed safely, it says, adding: "How this incident happened is now being investigated as a matter of course and the prudent decision is not to fly the team again this season."
The incident occurred at the RNZAF Ohakea base, near Palmerston North on New Zealand's north island, where the team had been practising for the New Zealand Warbirds Over Wanaka air show in April. The grounding means the team has pulled out of this show.
Red Checker squadron leader Nick Cree died in an accident on 14 January near Ohakea base. He reportedly crashed his CT/4E trainer after performing a solo manoeuvre as part of an air display practice.