A report to be released today into the Carterton hot air balloon crash will help put the matter to rest, a witness says.
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) is to release its final report into the January 2012 tragedy.
Eleven people were killed when the balloon caught fire and crashed to the ground after colliding with powerlines near Carterton.
The horror scene was witnessed by Geoff Walker, who had photographed all the passengers before take-off, and was a close friend of pilot Lance Hopping. He said the release of the report, which was expected to be closely followed by the coroner's report, would help those involved to move on.
"I don't know there's ever closure, but it's part of putting it to rest," he said.
"Once the coroner's done I think that's pretty much the last of the official stuff. That's a good thing. Let them rest."
Mr Walker was interviewed by TAIC and has viewed the draft report, and said the commission had done a thorough job and listened to those involved.
"The commission's done the best they can in their report and we'll just have to take what they say. Not everyone's going to agree with everything I guess.
He said he hoped people would accept the findings, and said laying blame would not make any difference.
Carterton mayor Ron Mark was briefed on the report yesterday and said it would be a difficult time for the small community.
TAIC's interim report was released in May last year. It revealed Mr Hopping, 53, had cannabis in his system, but it was not known whether that was a factor in the crash.
The commission had earlier made an urgent safety recommendation urging the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to carry out inspections on all 73 balloons in New Zealand because of shortcomings in the crash balloon's maintenance.
A report released in February by the CAA showed Mr Hopping's medical certificate had expired and he was no longer licensed to fly.
It also found passengers were not briefed on some safety features, and there was insufficient communication between the balloon and ground crew, particularly during the landing phase.
The crash was New Zealand's worst aviation disaster since the Mt Erebus airline crash.
TAIC's final report will be released at noon today.
- by Heather McCracken of APNZ