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Brize plane rescues 183 in Sudan
6:30am Friday 27th December 2013 in News
AN aircraft from Oxfordshire rescued 182 people from war-torn South Sudan.
The 266-tonne C-17 Globemaster aircraft left RAF Brize Norton last Thursday to take part in an evacuation, which was ordered after concerns about conditions in the country.
After a nine-hour flight, covering nearly 3,500 miles, the aircrew managed to land at the airport in the South Sudanese capital Juba despite a crashed airplane on the runway.
Wing Commander Stuart Lindsell said: “We practise short landings in training but getting down on a runway with a crashed aircraft taking up a large part of it would really concentrate the mind and is way outside what we would normally expect.
“I think it’s fair to say that this C17 captain and his crew had one of the toughest days anyone on this squadron has had since we were stood up 12 years ago. It’s not just the aircrew but the RAF regiment who provided protection on the ground.
“The movers who helped get the passengers on board, the medics and the engineers – all of them have all performed brilliantly and I’m extremely proud of them.”
The aircraft picked up 182 passengers, including Britons, Commonwealth and EU citizens, who were quickly loaded before the short onward flight to Entebbe in Uganda.