17 Dec 2008

Royal Australian Air Force plane on an aid mission to PNG has been grounded

10:56 am on 17 December 2008

A Royal Australian Air Force plane on an aid mission to Papua New Guinea has been grounded after striking a bird during takeoff.

The C-130 Hercules had been flying food and other supplies to two northern island provinces hit by destructive tidal surges recently.

The plane was taking off from Kavieng Airport, in New Ireland Province, yesterday when a bird flew into a propeller, forcing the crew to abort takeoff.

Australia has offered more than half a million US dollars to help PNG communities affected by the surges, which has thousands of people.