SMITH, Darren
T990259, Acting Warrant Officer, Royal New Zealand Air Force

Distinguished Service Decoration
On 25 April 2010, while serving in the rank of flight sergeant, he was one of the helicopter crewmen on the Iroquois formation tasked for ceremonial flypasts in the Wellington area. As the formation was transiting south, it encountered adverse weather and became separated. One helicopter continued on to Wellington, another, with Flight Sergeant Smith on board, returned and landed at Paraparaumu, while the location of the remaining aircraft was unknown at this stage. At dawn, Flight Sergeant Smith’s aircraft returned to Pukerua Bay where he was offloaded to begin a ground search for the missing crew. After climbing up a rugged and steep hill, he located the wreckage of the crashed aircraft and discovered that there was one survivor.  By this time a civilian rescue helicopter had arrived on the scene. He then prepared his badly injured colleague for extraction using unfamiliar equipment. Once this had been successfully completed with minimal further trauma, he remained at the site until the arrival of New Zealand Police.

Distinguished Service Decoration
Royal NZ Air Force Long Service & Good Conduct Medal
NZ Defence Service Medal