A Navy Seahawk helicopter that landed at a North Nowra property to drop off personnel to a squadron Christmas party last Friday night was on a training flight, according to Defence.
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Members of 725 Squadron at HMAS Albatross held their Christmas gathering at a private rural property on the banks of the Shoalhaven River.
Questions over the helicopter’s use and the fact it landed in the same location the previous day have been raised by local residents.
Defence said it was an “approved function to recognise the achievements and hard work of members of 725 Squadron”.
“The function was funded by staff who attended,” a Defence spokesperson said.
Defence said the landowner engaged with council, police and neighbouring residents, and sought advice from local town planners who assessed the activity as compliant with requirements.
Council did confirm the property was not approved to hold “commercial events”.
Defence would not comment further on neighbourhood concerns regarding the use of the property.
“A navy Seahawk helicopter landed at the property on December 7 for a five minute period to disembark personnel who were being recognised for their significant contribution and efforts throughout the year,” the spokesperson said.
“The landing was small part of a training flight, which achieved a number of competency requirements for the aircrew.”
Defence said the flight was conducted following a comprehensive risk assessment and flight authorisation practice.
“It was within the normal allocation of training hours at no additional cost to the taxpayer,” the spokesperson said.
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