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RNZAF helicopters move DOC hut

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/06/2016

Air Component Commander Air Commodore Darryn Webb says no civilian helicopter could carry such loads at 1220m above sea level. © Getty Images Air Component Commander Air Commodore Darryn Webb says no civilian helicopter could carry such loads at 1220m above sea level. Mt Fell hut in Mount Richmond Forest Park in Marlborough has been airlifted to a safer spot by the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The RNZAF says one of its new NH90 helicopters has shifted the 1700kg Department of Conservation hut and carried 1800kg of materials to build foundations for it at a new site about 300m away.

The hut, built in 1964, had to be moved because it was sitting on an active slip and was in danger of sliding into the mountain bush. The six-bunk hut had been closed since March 2015.

Air Component Commander Air Commodore Darryn Webb says no civilian helicopter could carry such loads at 1220m above sea level.

The work was done by RNZAF's Three Squadron and the army's Five Movements Company prepared the loads.

The ridgeline above the hut, which is a popular stop for people climbing Mt Fell, offers scenic views of the Wairau Plains, Nelson Bay, Tasman Bay, the Pelorus Valley and Wellington.

The hut will remain closed until Christmas to give volunteers from tramping clubs time to complete work on the foundations and gain code compliance certification.

The RNZAF introduced the NH90s into service in 2013 to perform a wide range of roles in New Zealand and overseas.

The NH90 is able to carry up to 19 soldiers or undersling field artillery in support of combat operations in a medium-threat environment.

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