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Military Vehicle Dropped From 750 Feet a New Zealand First

A Light Operational Vehicle (LOV) is dropped out of the back of a RNZAF C130H Hercules on EX TACEX
A Light Operational Vehicle (LOV) is dropped out of the back of a RNZAF C130H Hercules on EX TACEX

21 February 2014

In a combined effort between the New Zealand Army and Royal New Zealand Air Force a Light Operational Vehicle (LOV) was dropped from a C130H Hercules aircraft at 750 feet at Ohakea Air Base today.

The text book landing is being hailed as a great success.

The Pinzgauer vehicle, strapped to a metal pallet and secured with timber and specialised corrugated cardboard packing material, parachuted from the back of the aircraft before floating gently to the ground and landing within 100 metres of the designated landing zone.

The drop was part of the Royal New Zealand Air Force's (RNZAF) No. 40 Squadron tactical airlift and airdrop training conducted over the past few days which has been focusing on air drop missions and air-to-land resupply operations.

Flight Commander of the Hercules Flight Squadron Leader Steve Thornley said the Hercules was used to dropping large loads but had not dropped a LOV before.

"While it’s all in a day’s work dropping loads, this was different."

The load weighed 11,500 pounds and the LOV is normally used to move troops and supplies around on operations in a benign environment.
Drops of this kind are used when there is no airfield or the airfield is damaged and is reliant on the skill of the logistics people and aircrew.

Squadron Leader Thornley said the Air Force worked closely with personnel from the NZ Army’s 5 Movements Company based out of Linton Camp.

"The Movements Operators help with the preparation of the loads and their recovery."

Director of Land Engineering Lieutenant Colonel Steven Odell said he had been confident the exercise was going to be a success and personnel had spent many hours working on the mathematics and technicalities of the drop.

"I’m very happy about how this has gone. The calculations around weight compression and balancing have all been spot on. And that’s what I expected. I had complete confidence in the process."

Major Angela Sutton, Commanding Officer of 5 Movements Company at Linton said 5 Mov Coy had been dropping non operational V8 Land Rovers and other non operational vehicles for a long time.

"We have been working on this exercise for a long time and to have it go so well is testimony to the skill of all the people involved in both the Army and the Air Force."

Ends

For more information please contact the Defence Communications Group: 021 487 980

Watch a video of the drop on YouTube at http://youtu.be/pKePq-tmLD8

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