Super Rugby

McCaw to the rescue

McCaw to the rescue

INJURED ALL Blacks skipper Richie McCaw has organised a flight that will allow the Crusaders to travel to Wellington to play the Hurricanes.

Thousands of passengers are stranded across the country after Air New Zealand cancelled flights this morning due to ash cloud from Chile’s volcano.

But McCaw, an aviation enthusiast and patron of the DC3 Southern Trust, has organised a plane so they can travel to the capital.

No more than 28 Crusaders players and coaches will travel in a DC3 tomorrow morning.

The flight will take one hour and 40 minutes.

The rest of team management are to drive, carrying the team's gear.

The plane was able to operate safely in the current conditions over New Zealand because it flew below 10,000 feet (3048 metres) and had a conventional propeller engine, rather than a jet engine like a commercial aircraft.

McCaw is a qualified pilot and is legally allowed to fly the plane but couldn't on this occasion, as the plane would be carrying fare-paying passengers – his teammates.

What shaped as a problematic weekend of travel for Super Rugby teams in New Zealand has been largely resolved.

Three other teams – the Highlanders, Reds and Western Force – were also faced with travel concerns due to flight cancellations.

The Highlanders will travel on a charter flight to Auckland this afternoon for their clash against the Blues tomorrow night.

In Australia, the Reds departed for Auckland this morning en-route to Hamilton for their match against the Chiefs on Saturday afternoon.

The Western Force are booked on a flight due to leave Perth for Melbourne this morning.

They play the Melbourne Rebels on Friday evening.

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