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Air Force knew of Key plane faults before

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/03/2017

The Air Force was aware of faults on one of their planes before it broke down in Australia while taking then prime minister John Key and delegates on a trade mission to India.

The October trip was cut short and Mr Key, guests and media left stranded in Townsville awaiting repairs after different faults were identified, according to documents released to NewsHub.

Shortly before departure it was discovered one of two GPS receivers wasn't working, and the auto-speedbrake would only operate manually.

Both faults required fixing but were not serious enough to ground the Boeing 757, one of two of the 25-year-old planes used by the Air Force.

But on arrival in Townsville, one of two stops on the way to New Delhi, an unrelated speed-brake fault forced pilots to abort two take-off attempts and ground the aircraft for repairs.

An Air Force spokesperson told NewsHub the faults were unrelated.

A replacement plane was sent to Townsville to continue the trip, though the New Delhi leg and meetings there were cancelled.

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