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Lightning hits RAAF mercy flight

No. 37 Squadron loadmaster Sergeant Fred Barnard in front of one of the many pallets loaded on to a C-130J Hercules bound for flood stricken areas.Photo: Supplied
No. 37 Squadron loadmaster Sergeant Fred Barnard in front of one of the many pallets loaded on to a C-130J Hercules bound for flood stricken areas.Photo: Supplied

NOT even a lightning strike could stop delivery of rescue supplies from RAAF Base Amberley to flood-stricken Queenslanders.

A Hercules transport aircraft was forced to return to Amberley yesterday after being hit by lightning during a supply mission.

A Defence spokesman said the lightning strike did not injure crew members but caused electronic damage, which meant it could not continue.

It went back for repairs and was expected to be replaced by another plane.

Acting Defence Minister Jason Clare was at RAAF Base Amberley on Wednesday to thank personnel for the work they were doing to get supplies to people who needed them.

Mr Clare met with the pilots who fly the C130- J Hercules and he also met and thanked the Air Force personnel who have been working up to 12 hours a day loading pallets on to the aircraft.

“Thousands of Queenslanders are doing it tough at the moment,” Mr Clare said.

“The men and women of the Defence Force are doing a great job to get them what they need and keep them safe.

“So far they've delivered more than 50 tonnes of groceries including long-life milk, Weet Bix, batteries, pasta, rice, baked beans, toilet paper, nappies and baby formula to Mackay and trucked into Rockhampton.”

Mr Clare was in Brisbane for briefings from the Australian Defence Force's Joint Task Force 637 commander Colonel Luke Foster and to thank the ADF and emergency services personnel who worked on the relief effort.



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