Parachute exercise conducted near Dunedin

A royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules flew over Dunedin and dropped parachutists into drop zones on the Taieri Plain at the weekend, the New Zealand Defence Force has confirmed.

The parachute training exercise in Otago was due to end this Friday and no further drops were scheduled for Dunedin, a Defence Force spokesman said.

At the weekend, Dunedin residents reported seeing the Hercules overhead.

A Defence Force spokesman confirmed the Hercules was in the air above Dunedin last Friday and Saturday and air and military personnel were parachuted into drop zones on the Taieri Plain.

The remainder of the exercise would be conducted from Alexandra before the aircraft returned to RNZAF Base Whenuapai, in Auckland, later this week, a spokesman said.

The purpose of the Otago exercise was to train personnel in four different types of military parachute jumps.

All flying was conducted in accordance with Civil Aviation Authority and the RNZAF rules.

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