RAAF C-17A Supports Repatriation of MH-17 victims
26 July 2014
A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C017A Globemaster aircraft and her crew carried victims of the MH 17 tragedy from Ukraine to the Netherlands on 24 July.
The aircraft landed at Eindhoven Airfield in the Netherlands with 44 caskets onboard following a three-hour flight from the Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv.
The Australian aircraft conducted this task together with a Royal Netherlands Air Force C-130H Hercules which carried an additional 30 caskets.
For RAAF pilot Flight Lieutenant David Whyte, the dignity and cooperation are some of the defining factors of the mission.
"The Netherlands military is extremely appreciative of us being here; they have done everything they can do to assist us, which is crucial in a situation like this where we are trying to secure the best possible outcome for everyone under really tragic circumstances," he said.
Out on the flight line, personnel from the Netherlands armed forces received the caskets and provided a guard of honour.
Over the next three hours the simple pine caskets, were placed in 74 hearses lined up between the two aircraft.
From Eindhoven, the convoy travelled 80 kilometres to the Hilversum military base, where the formal identification task will begin.