Otago Daily Times

NZDF parachutin­g exercise grounded by low cloud, rain


- JARED MORGAN jared.morgan@odt.co.nz

CENTRAL Otago’s stopstart summer has temporaril­y grounded a New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) parachute training exercise.

Royal New Zealand Air Force Squadron Leader Ceilidh Martin said the exercise was ‘‘on pause’’ because of the weather.

She hoped rain and cloud conditions would improve by tomorrow allowing Defence Force students to complete the first phase of military parachute jump training which began on February 2.

It involved parachute jumps from Caravan 208 aircraft contracted from North Shore aviation business Airlift New Zealand.

The next phase, scheduled to begin yesterday involved a Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed C130 Hercules but the conditions meant that had been pushed back to Monday, Sqn Ldr Martin said.

Daytime parachute jumps would operate from Alexandra Airport while night jumps would take place near Dunedin.

About 20 NZDF were based in Alexandra and students were parachutin­g from the Caravan aircraft and the Hercules in the vicinity of Alexandra, Omakau, Wanaka, and Dunedin.

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