Helicopter Pilot Has Died From His Injuries After Falling Down Antarctic Crevasse

12/01/2016 10:22 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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James Moloney

The helicopter pilot who was miraculously rescued from a crevasse in a remote part of Antarctica has died of his injuries.

David Wood, 62, lived in Canada but was working as a contractor with the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) program at Davis Research Station.

The Australian Antarctic Division confirmed the pilot fell into a crevasse after landing on a remote ice shelf near Australia’s Davis Station late Monday.

"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," they said in a statement.

"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 unable to help and so flew back to the station for assistance and returned with three specialists.

Together, they were able to retrieve Mr Wood, who had fallen about 20 metres.

In another statement on Tuesday night, the Australian Antarctic Division Director Dr Nick Gales confirmed that Mr Wood had died and expressed his sincere condolences to his family.

"Mr Wood was a respected colleague and friend to many in the Australian Antarctic program, with which he has been involved for a number of years," he said.

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

"The Australian Antarctic Division has been in regular contact with Mr Wood’s family. The Division is working to return his body to Australia at the earliest opportunity."

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