US serviceman falls from plane

August 24th, 2007  

Topic: US serviceman falls from plane

An American serviceman is in hospital after falling from the top of a plane at Christchurch Airport this morning.

The man fell at 4.30am while undertaking pre-flight safety checks on a US C-17 aircraft ahead of its departure for Antarctica.
He fell about six metres from the fuselage of the plane and was taken to Christchurch Airport with a broken leg.
The US Antarctic programme operates next to the Royal New Zealand Air Force's hangar at the airport.
Air Force spokesman Squadron Leader Glenn Davis said the US Antarctic season had been under way for about three weeks, with regular supply flights leaving from Christchurch.
The US flight took off without delay after the incident.
The Ambulance Service reported that conditions were cold and frosty in the city early this morning.
Sq Ldr Davis said he could not comment on US procedures, but said that the RNZAF had rules in place which did not allow pre-flight inspections to go ahead in icy conditions.
The RNZAF's Antarctic season does not start until November.

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