The criminal trial into the death of a Canadian helicopter pilot who fell into a crevasse in Antarctica in January, 2016 began on Wednesday.
Captain David Wood was 62 when he stepped out of his helicopter and fell into a crevasse while completing a mission on the icy continent.
He was trapped in the ice for four hours until a search and rescue team could retrieve him, but he died of hypothermia a day later.
Captain Wood, who was based at Davis Station, had been delivering barrels of fuel to fuel caches around the Antarctic territory.
The court heard that when he fell, despite personal protective equipment available in the helicopter, Captain Wood had been very lightly dressed.
The Commonwealth prosecutors are pursuing criminal charges in the ACT Industrial Court against Captain Wood's employer Helicopter Resources Pty Ltd and the federal Department of Environment who contracted the company.
ACT laws apply in the Australian Antarctic Territory, so the matter falls in the ACT court jurisdiction.
Three charges have been brought against each defendant of failing to comply with a duty and exposing a worker to serious injury or death.
One charge relates to the operation that took Captain Wood's life and the other two relate to other missions where the prosecution alleges pilots were allowed to land in dangerous areas.
Prosecutor Peter Neil, SC, opened the trial before Magistrate Glenn Theakston saying the two defendants had not completed proper risk assessments of the sites where the helicopters landed.
"It is not a case of hindsight, but one of foresight," Mr Neil said.
"The risks were known and measures should have been taken to reduce those risks."
He said the circumstances that led to Captain Wood's death were preventable. He said a location only a few kilometres away would have presented a more suitable and safer site.
Mr Neil said the defendants had failed to complete any safety assessments at two landing sites, including where Captain Wood fell.
He said there had been no analysis of publicly available satellite images, no low light reconnaissance flyovers - where it's easier to spot crevasses - and no safe operation areas had been marked out.
He said the prosecution would be calling evidence from other pilots and from glacier experts.
Defence counsel for the Department of Environment, David Hallowes, SC, agreed with the prosecution's assessment there was a significant risk of crevasses in large parts of Antarctica.
Mr Hallowes described it as a "hostile, remote and hazardous environment" and said the department had "as reasonably practical provided a safe work environment".
He said it was for that reason he disagreed with the prosecution's contention that a safer location for Captain Wood to land was only kilometres away.
Captain Wood had landed in a location covered with snow, which meant crevasses could be hidden. Mr Hallowes said, while a simplification, blue ice was good to land on and snow cover was bad.
He said measures such as analysing satellite data could only ever lead to likelihoods and possibilities.
"The final and best measure [to assess a landing site] is the visual assessment of the site by the helicopter pilot," Mr Hallowes said.
If a pilot held any concern over the site he or she was under no obligation to land there, Mr Hallowes said.
"Individual responsibility is encouraged [in Antarctica] due to the nature of the environment," he said.
"It's not a factory where you can engineer out all of the risks."
The trial continues.