How to get a truck off a moving plane

Last updated 16:19 25/02/2014
NZ Defence Force

In a combined effort between the army and air force, a truck has been dropped from a Hercules.

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The Defence Force is increasing its ability to deliver aid through new air-drop techniques.

In what was believed to be the first of its kind in New Zealand, the New Zealand Army and Royal New Zealand Air Force combined to drop an army truck from a Hercules aircraft from a height of about 230 metres (750 feet).

Lieutenant Jonathan Steele, of the army, said the drop had been three weeks in the making.

"We had to go through a series of steps to make sure we researched every aspect of the drop.

"It's been about three weeks and it's been tested twice and rerigged twice over that period."

It was essential the two forces worked closely on these kinds of operations to enhance their ability to deliver aid, Steele said.

"For example, if there is damage to the local infrastructure then air deliveries are a real possibility because it's fly over once, drop in the aid and it is straight to where it needs to be."

Flight Lieutenant Alex Tredrea, of the air force, said the drop was a first for the RNZAF.

"The load today was a LOV [light operation vehicle], I believe it was the first time we have dropped one.

"It was pretty heavy and you definitely feel it go out the back of the aircraft when the chutes inflate.

"It was satisfying to see the load come out safely and hit the target," Tredrea said.

Steele said he had been apprehensive watching the massive load float gently to the ground.

"[I was hoping] that it would stay as it was looking, looking like it was all going to plan and [it] came down perfectly.

"I couldn't have asked for a better result." 

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