Antonov meets mining deadline

HOUSTON: Chapman Freeborn Airchartering and Antonov Airlines have helped to keep a mining project on schedule by delivering two 17-metre drill rigs from Houston to Perth via Hawaii, Fiji and Brisbane.

Destined for an iron ore mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, two Pit Viper 271 rotary rig towers were carried on an Antonov Airlines AN-124-100 aircraft chartered by an U.S. office of Chapman Freeborn.

The 21-ton pieces were switched from ocean to airfreight at short notice to meet the project deadline.

The loading process in Houston required the use of the AN-124’s ramp apparatus in addition to two external cranes to manoeuvre the outsize parts.

“The main challenge of this project was to load two oversized rotary rig towers by means of one set of loading equipment. This task required a non-standard technical solution offered by our engineers,” says Antonov Airlines deputy director Vitaliy Shost. “I would like to note the fast and high-quality work of Chapman Freeborn Airchartering and the shipper on the preparation of cargo and the organization of its delivery, without which this transportation would not [have been] feasible in such a short time.”