“To get the helicopters cleared for loading onto the C-17 we first had to take them up to Amberley Air Force Base in Queensland and put them through a loading trial with the Royal Australian Air Force,” Australian Antarctic Division chief helicopter pilot David Lomas said.
“We did that about six weeks ago and that was a practice run to identify any issues. It’s the first time this type of helicopter has been loaded on a C-17”.
The helicopters had their blades removed and were winched on to the C-17A Globemaster at Hobart Airport, before being tethered in a way that didn’t cause damage to their delicate frames.
“Normally we’re carrying quite heavy helicopters and equipment and these are quite light, so the main thing for us is making sure we don’t damage the aircraft as we’re bringing them on – that’s ours and the helicopters themselves,” Loadmaster Corporal Dalton King said.
“The main thing is making sure they don’t strike anything, especially the tail rotor.”