australian aviation logo

RAAF C-17 headed to Nepal as part of earthquake relief effort

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 28, 2015

An RAAF C-17 Globemaster leaves Amberley for Vanuatu. (Defence)
An RAAF C-17 Globemaster departs Amberley. (Defence)

An RAAF C-17 Globemaster will shortly be headed to Kathmandu with humanitarian and disaster relief supplies as part of the global effort to support Nepal following the devastating earthquakes that struck on Saturday.

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said the C-17 will also be used to evacuate Australian citizens and approved foreign nationals from the Nepal capital to Bangkok.

“Defence will support the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) led Australian Government response to the earthquake in Nepal under Operation Nepal Assist,” the Minister said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The RAAF C-17A aircraft is currently being prepared to depart from RAAF Base Amberley. Departure timings will be determined by availability of airport access in Kathmandu.

“Defence stands ready to provide additional support as directed by the Australian Government.

Australian Defence Force personnel prepare to board a No. 36 Squadron C-17A Globemaster aircraft headed to Nepal to provide assistance. (Defence)
ADF personnel prepare to board. (Defence)

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering as a result of this earthquake.”

Australian Defence Force personnel prepare to board a No. 36 Squadron C-17A Globemaster aircraft headed to Nepal to provide assistance. (Defence)
Supplies are loaded into the 36 Squadron C-17 bound for Nepal. (Defence)

The death toll from the magnitude-7.9 earthquake that struck Kathmandu on Saturday afternoon has so far exceeded 4,000, on top of the at least 6,000 injured.


The United Nations said eight million people have been affected by the earthquake, with more than 1.4 million people in need of food assistance. Many have also lost their homes and were forced to sleep outdoors in makeshift tent cities that have been created.

Australia, which is also sending A$5 million in aid, is one of many countries that have pledged support in such a time of need.

Neighbouring countries such as China, India and Pakistan have all offered humanitarian aid and sent specialist teams to help with the rescue effort, while Israel, Japan, the US and UK were also part of the emergency relief effort.


Comments (5)

  • Chris


    AAR palletised seating would make HADR more efficient when evacuating nationals by C17A ER. The C17A is ideal for evacuating people from short runways at altitude like Kathmandu. It can offload 75mtonne of aid and evacuate 102/108 PAX as back load. 48 seats are carried for the centre line but 54 will fit sans the comfort pallet if borrowed from another C17 undergoing maintenance. The USAF use AAR brand palletised seating, the highest density being 15 seats in 3 rows of 5 seats ~55cm wide spaced ~75cm apart that are rated for 113kg each and 4kg of luggage underneath.
    9 such pallets will fit sideways in the C17 cabin meaning 135 + 54 sidewall seats = 189 PAX evacuated per sortie making each back load 75% more efficient. Aisles either side of the single pallet allow the PAX access to the ablutions, the ratio for which would be suitable in a HADR emergency. Each pallet weighs 413kg empty meaning the lot weigh <4mtonne lowering the aid delivery slightly. ~10 would appear to stack on the ramp inbound 3 x 122cm high lowest and 2 high, higher up the ramp 2 wide lengthwise.
    The C17 can carry 18,144kg on the ramp @96kg per PAX under netting. The 10th pallet is unlikely to be functional on the sloping ramp pressurised closed. Therefore 280kg per PAX is still available much higher than the palletised seat rating. Heavier PAX would be directed to the sidewall seating by the loadmaster. I think the RAAF should invest in a few aircraft worth for such an emergency. The slight reduction in inbound aid weight and volume would be worth the extra PAX extraction efficiency outbound.
    The C17 fuel payload balance of 137mtonne is not likely to be an issue with HADR evacuation to the nearest safe place like Bangkok. 111mtonne Max internal fuel for the C17A ER.

  • Neil


    The images coming out of Nepal are harrowing. So glad they are being helped. Sending prayers, and hoping for more survivors. This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go to the Nepalese people. May God strengthened them and provide their needs during this time.

  • Tom


    Right on Neil. Ditto

  • Gary


    My heart goes out to the Nepalese and god speed to the crews at 36.

  • Tom crees


    Hi, we are a group of Goulburnites who are trying to get a load of tents & things to a village on the Kathmandu valley rim were the about 60 homes have been destroyed … The entire village in other words. Here in Goulburn we know the village need tents & things so we are going to but 60 of them with some tarps & basic medicines like Dettol, Panadold, Multivites (kids & adults,pans ages & bandage tape to send them … How do we fly the stuff to them in within the next week???? HELP IS NEEDED NOW … Can you please suggest some way to help this effort … I am spear heading this Initative & my contacts are TOM CREES OR mob 0402 753 232

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.