Plonk - air force in a vine old mess

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Members of the military are seen wandering around after the supply load was dropped off target into a vineyard. Photo / Alan Gibson
Members of the military are seen wandering around after the supply load was dropped off target into a vineyard. Photo / Alan Gibson

A routine air force exercise went wrong yesterday when a drop of supplies on large pallets - delivered by parachutes - landed in a nearby vineyard.

Several pallets were meant to drop in an area just outside Hastings, in Hawkes Bay, where a number of soldiers are taking part in a defence force exercise.

A number of the pallets landed in a neighbouring vineyard, damaging some fence posts.

One of the loads narrowly missed a parked car - thought to belong to one of the workers at the vineyard.

Members of the military were seen walking up and down the rows in the vineyard, checking the pallets. Some of the men were seen with their hands on their heads, seemingly wondering what to do next.

Royal NZ Air Force Squadron Leader Lyn Coromandel said the pallets of supplies - dropped from a C-130 Hercules - had not landed in the designated drop zone and, as a result, they were looking into the circumstances behind that happening.

Squadron Leader Coromandel said: "Aerial delivery is a very demanding activity which is why we conduct training in the controlled environment of exercises.

"We train intensively to be precise when air drops are made.

"We will be scrutinising very closely today's drop."

He said the pallets were for soldiers taking part in the Exercise Alam Halfa 2014 , which has troops in various scenarios including ambushes, raids and other life-like cases.

- NZ Herald

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