Canadian pilot dies after falling into Antarctic crevasse

2016-01-13 10:00

Canberra - A Canadian helicopter pilot died at an Australian Antarctic base a day after falling into an icy crevasse, officials said on Tuesday.

David Wood, aged 62, fell 20m into the crevasse and remained there for three hours after landing on a remote ice shelf 167km northeast of Australia's Davis Station late Monday, Australian Antarctic Division director Nick Gales said.

Wood was flying one of two helicopters owned by Australian company Helicopter Resources that had delivered fuel drums to a depot on the West Ice Shelf before the two pilots landed, Gales said.

After Wood fell, the pilot of the second helicopter flew back to Davis for help.

A three-member rescue team from Davis was able to retrieve Wood then flew him by helicopter to a medical facility at Davis in critical condition. He died on Tuesday as officials planned an air evacuation to Australia.

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

Wood was a contracted employee of the Australian Antarctic program.

The Australian Antarctic Division had been in regular contact with Wood's family since the accident and was working to return his body to Australia at the earliest opportunity, the statement said.

Read more on:    antarctica  |  canada  |  aviation

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