Helicopter pilot in a critical condition after being rescued from an Antarctic crevasse

Davis station from the air
Davis station (Photo: David Barringhaus)

12th January 2016

9.30 am 

An emergency response team from the Australian Antarctic Division has rescued a helicopter pilot who fell into a crevasse after landing on a remote ice shelf near Australia’s Davis station late yesterday (Monday evening AEDT).

The incident happened when two helicopters, on charter from Helicopter Resources, were sling loading fuel to a depot on the West Ice Shelf about 90 nautical miles north east of Davis station.

The pilots, who were flying alone in the two helicopters, had landed at the remote ice shelf site after dropping the fuel drums at the depot site.

After disembarking from his aircraft one of the pilots fell down a crevasse. The second pilot was not able to assist and so after making radio contact with the station flew back to Davis station for help.

A response team of three specialist field training officers was despatched to the site from Davis station and they were able to retrieve the pilot who had fallen around 20 metres into the crevasse.

The pilot was then flown by helicopter to the Antarctic Division’s medical facility at Davis station and remains in a critical condition.

The pilot involved in the incident has considerable Antarctic experience.