Print Header

Death of Airman - 3rd Statement

Nicholas Cree and AVM Lintott
Chief of Air Force AVM Graham Lintott presenting SQN LDR Nick Cree with his General Service Medal in 2008.[OH 08-0397-02.jpg]

14 January 2010

The Chief of Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Graham Lintott has released the name of the airman killed this morning when his airtrainer aircraft crashed near Ohakea Air Force Base.

Squadron Leader Nick Cree died just after 8 am  following a crash while conducting a solo manoeuvre as part of a Red Checkers air display practice.

“Nick had an excellent flying record. He joined in 1996 flew on deployment with the RNZAF in the Solomon Islands and in Timor-Leste. He also served on exchange with the Singapore Air Force.

“He commanded one of our detachments of helicopters in Timor-Leste.”

SQN LDR Cree was a highly skilled member of the Air Force team, becoming an “A” category instructor at the Central Flying School and a member of the Red Checkers display team.

“He loved flying,” says CAF AVM Lintott.

“Obviously our thoughts are with his wife and son, and other members of his family who are now face the loss of a loved one. 

“Our focus now turns to Squadron Leader Cree’s family, his Squadron colleagues, and many friends throughout the NZDF and elsewhere. Our people have been with the family since this morning and we will continue to support them in any way we can.”

An investigation into the cause of the accident has begun.


For more information please contact: SQN LDR Kavae Tamariki, Defence Communications Group 021 420 899

Biographical details:


Born 19 May 1977 (32 years)

Career Summary: Squadron Leader Nick Cree enlisted with the Royal New Zealand Air Force on 9 Jan 1996 as a pilot trainee.

Honours and Awards:

  • East Timor Medal - 14 May 2001
  • New Zealand Operational Service Medal - 14 June 2002
  • New Zealand General Service Medal (Solomon Islands) - 8 June 2004
  • New Zealand General Service Medal (Timor-Leste) - 21 November 2007

Career Milestones:

  • Joined the RNZAF 09 Jan 1996 as a pilot trainee.
  • Attended Australian Defence Force Academy from Jan 1996 - Dec 1998 where he completed at Bachelor of Technology (Aeronautical) Degree.
  • Completed Wings Course on 13 Oct 2000.
  • Posted to No.3 SQN following Wings Course.
  • Operational deployments with No.3 Squadron include East Timor, Solomon Islands.
  • Served on Exchange in Singapore with No.120 SQN RSAF from 26 Jul 2003 - 28 Nov 2003
    Completed Flying Instructors Course 10 Jan 2005 - 04 Jul 2005.
  • Subsequent posting to PTS as a Qualified Flying Instructor 05 Jul 2005 - 30 Jul 2006.
  • Posted back to No. 3 SQN 31 Jul 2006 completed training as a Qualified Helicopter Instructor
  • Detachment Commander, Timor Leste 29 Oct 2007 - 23 Jan 2008.
  • Was posted to the 3 SQN Training Officer position on 05 May 2008, appointed acting SQN LDR.
  • Was promoted to SQN LDR 21 Aug 2008.
  • Posted to Central Flying School 01 Dec 2008 as the Flight Commander. “A” Category QFI. Member of Red Checkers.

Return to the Media Release Summary