A former air force officer says he wishes more notice was taken of an email he sent warning of a risk-taking culture, five months before three men were killed in an Anzac Day helicopter crash.
Squadron Leader Rob Stockley sent an email to his bosses in December saying safety rules were regularly broken by crews from 3 Squadron at Ohakea air base.
Five months later, Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, 33, co-pilot Flying Officer Daniel Gregory, 28, and crewman Corporal Ben Carson, 25, died in a crash near Wellington. A court of inquiry said risk taking was endemic.
The email said a culture of risk-taking had developed and it was possible someone could be killed.
Mr Stockley, who resigned from the air force before the crash, told the New Zealand Herald he felt haunted by the email after no action was taken.
"I wish I had done more," he said.
Mr Stockley was initially found guilty by a military court of failing to comply with written orders by approving the Anzac Day flight, but a higher court found he did have the authority to approve the flight.
Air Force chief Air Vice-Marshall Peter Stockwell says a great deal has been done since to ensure greater safety among the pilots.
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman is setting up an independent inquiry to oversee the response to the crash.