Monday, January 11, 2016

Fatal accident occurred January 11, 2016 in Antarctica

David Wood, a Canadian helicopter pilot has died after a fall in Antarctica.


A helicopter pilot has died at an Australian research station in Antarctica after falling down an icy crevasse and lying injured for at least two hours.

Canadian pilot David Wood, 62, fell 20m into the crevasse after landing on a remote ice shelf near Australia’s Davis station on Monday night. He was rescued by an emergency response team and flown to a medical facility at Davis station.

In a statement last night Australian Antarctic Division director Nick Gales expressed the group’s “sincere condolences” to Mr. Wood’s family.

Dr Gales called the pilot “a respected colleague and friend” to the program, which he had been involved with for many years.

He said Mr. Wood had more than 30 years experience as a pilot, and had worked extensively in both the Antarctic and Arctic.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Gales told reporters that working in such extreme environments brought risks.

“Working in Antarctica is always very dangerous, especially in the remote field,” he said in Hobart yesterday. “It is in the nature of the work that incidents can happen.”

The fall occurred when two helicopters were transporting fuel to a depot on the West Ice Shelf, 90 nautical miles northeast of Davis, in a technique called sling loading.

The two pilots had landed on the remote ice shelf after dropping the fuel drums at the depot site.

Mr. Wood fell down the crevasse after leaving his aircraft, while the second pilot, unable to offer assistance, contacted Davis station and flew back to get help.

Dr.  Gales’ statement said a response team of three specialist search and rescue officers was dispatched to the site and arrived about three hours after Mr Wood’s fall. They were able to retrieve Mr Wood from a depth of around 20 metres.

The statement said the Division has been in regular contact with Mr Wood’s family. It said the division was working to return his body to Australia at the earliest opportunity.

David Wood, 62, fell 20m into the crevasse after landing on a remote ice shelf near Australia’s Davis station on Monday evening. Mr Wood is a contracted employee with the Australian Antarctic program at Davis station.
The 62-year-old was rescued by an emergency response team after lying in the crevasse for at least two hours, before being flown to a medical facility at the nearby station.

Australian Antarctic Division director Nick Gales said Mr Wood was receiving the best possible medical care while the team assessed whether he should be flown to Australia for intensive treatment.

It is now understood Wood has died, according to media reports from the ABC.

The division employed highly trained doctors at each research station, which were supported by an “enormous” network of medical advice, he said.

“Working in Antarctica is always very dangerous, especially in the remote field,” he told reporters in Hobart.

“It is in the nature of the work that these incidents can happen.” The fall occurred when two helicopters were sling loading fuel to a depot on the West Ice Shelf, 90 nautical miles north east of Davis station.

The two pilots had landed on the remote ice shelf after dropping the fuel drums at the depot site.

Mr Wood fell down the crevasse after leaving his aircraft, while the second pilot, unable to help, contacted Davis station and flew back for help.

The 62-year-old, who had “extensive” Antarctic experience, remained down the crevasse for around two to three hours, Mr Gales said.

The division was preparing avenues for a possible medical evacuation to Australia.

“We’ll cover a broad range of options and we’ll use the one that best suits the needs of the patient,” Mr Gales said, adding an evacuation to Australia would take around 24 hours.

Story and photos:  http://www.news.com.au




A helicopter pilot critically injured in Antarctica on Monday when he fell 20 metres down a crevasse has died.

Canadian David Wood, 62, was working as a contractor with the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) program at Davis Research Station.

He was in one of two helicopters which had landed on a remote West Ice Shelf late on Monday to offload fuel drums.

After disembarking, he walked away from his helicopter and fell down the crevasse.

He was left trapped for more than two hours as the other pilot flew back to Davis Station, 90 nautical miles away, to get help, AAD director Nick Gales said.

He was later winched to safety in a critical condition and taken to Davis station's medical facility, where an evacuation to mainland Australia was being considered for Wednesday, weather permitting.

But in a statement on Tuesday night Dr. Gales said Mr Wood had died.

He said the AAD was in regular contact with Mr. Wood's family and would work to return his body to Australia "at the earliest opportunity".

Mr. Wood had more than 30 years experience as a pilot and had worked in both the Antarctic and Arctic, Dr Gales said.

Source:  http://www.abc.net.au


A helicopter lands at Australia’s Davis station in Antarctica. A pilot is being treated at a medical facility there after he landed on an ice shelf and fell into a crevasse. 


An Australian helicopter pilot is in a critical condition after falling down a crevasse in Antarctica.

The pilot fell 20 metres after landing on a remote ice shelf near Australia’s Davis station on Monday evening.

The Australian Antarctic Division said the pilot had been rescued by an emergency response team and flown to a medical facility at Davis station.

Two helicopters were sling-loading fuel to a depot on the West Ice Shelf, 90 nautical miles north-east of Davis station, when the accident took place, according to the division.

The two pilots had landed on the ice shelf after dropping the fuel drums at the depot site. One of the pilots fell down the crevasse after leaving his rotorcraft, while the second, unable to help, contacted Davis station and flew back for help.

“The pilot involved in the incident has considerable Antarctic experience,” the division said on Tuesday.

Story and photo: http://www.theguardian.com



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