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Sun, Aug 26, 2007

US Serviceman Injured In Fall From Atop C-17 In New Zealand

Participating In 'Operation Deep Freeze'

A US serviceman was transported to a local hospital after reportedly falling off the top of a C-17 cargo plane Saturday morning.

The soldier was conducting pre-flight safety checks on a US C-17 Globemaster III in preparation for a trip to Antarctica at Christchurch International Airport in New Zealand.

New Zealand Stuff reports he fell about 19 feet from the fuselage and suffered a broken leg. The Ambulance Service told Stuff conditions were cold and frosty at the time of the accident.

New Zealand Air Force spokesman Squadron Leader Glenn Davis wouldn't comment to the media about US procedures, but the RNZAF had rules which didn't allow pre-flight inspections in icy weather.

As ANN reported, the US Antarctic season recently got underway, and regular flights to the region from CHC are being undertaken as part of "Operation Deep Freeze." The RNZAF's Antarctic season won't commence until November.

The US Antarctic program operations are housed in the hangar next to the Royal New Zealand Air Force's hangar.

The C-17 took off without incident after the accident.

FMI: www.christchurch-airport.co.nz

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