Concern about the safety of the Government's rescue helicopters is growing after crashes involving Blackhawk helicopters in Australia and the United States. The Government Flying Service is seeking briefings from the respective military authorities on investigations into crashes which have claimed a total of 24 lives. With three Blackhawks of its own, the service is eager to learn details of the accidents. Two US Army transport helicopters collided and plummeted to the ground in mid-June, killing six people. The propellers of the two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters clashed in the crash. In a similar accident which claimed 18 lives, two Australian Army helicopters touched rotors while coming into land in darkness during an anti-terrorism exercise involving SAS soldiers. Australia's 38-strong Blackhawk fleet was the subject of controversy last year when 24 were grounded because of metal fatigue. The Government Flying Service Controller, Brian Cluer, said that it was seeking more information about both the recent crashes. 'We take an interest in this for safety reasons,' he said. Mr Cluer said he was more than satisfied with the performance of the S70A Sikorsky Blackhawks, which were introduced in 1993 to assist in the fight against crime. While regarded as ideal for operations carrying the Special Duty Unit or Police Tactical Unit, they are kept busy with tasks ranging from search and rescue to water-bombing hill fires. The GFS is to move from Kai Tak into a purpose-built complex at Chek Lap Kok airport in 1998.