Flying into Antartica (NZWD)

MJG

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Just curious,

Anyone on here ever flown down to McMurdo Station (sp?) ??

If so what kind of routing do you use to get down there and how long did it take?

Also do you stay "overnight" there or is it just in and out because of the weather??
 

Mamma

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I've done it. Basically you go down from Christchurch to McMurdo. Pretty straight line. You turn around if the weather goes down or the prognosis is bad. We land on an ice runway that is about 10000 ft long. Braking is not bad because despite it being ice and cold, it is very dry so the ice is not too slick. We (C-17s) do not stay overnight. We drop and go...about 2 hours. The C-130s from New York ANG stay. They fly the hell out of Antarctica. I would have to say they have one of the coolest missions ever created for a pilot.
 

MJG

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Mamma said:
I would have to say they have one of the coolest missions ever created for a pilot.

Litterally !!

Thanks for the answers.
 

maxpwrset

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I flew LC-130's on the Ice back when the Navy had the mission. Absolutely the best flying I will ever do. We did stay on the Ice, and every couple of weeks or so, we'd head up to CHCH for a few days. Flew all over the continent, landing the Herc in open field sites that no one had even walked on before. Very cool stuff, thanks for giving me the chance to think about it again. :)
 

sandman2122

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Flew the C-141 down there - took a huge group from the National Science Foundation - pretty funny bunch because several were the classic hippie look- peace shirt, beard, beads, etc....

Landing on the ice ( @ 82" thick) sorta reminded me of landing on a grass/dirt strip back in my Cessna/Piper days....

Only had a little time to take a tour and hit some orange golf balls on the ice.

Years ago, a commercial airliner was taking passengers on a "tour" of the ice from New Zealand (anyone wish to confirm this?) and crashed into a mountain - we took a navigator with us in the "Lizard" - who was invaluable due to the tricky job of navigating around the southern pole.
 
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MJG

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Sandman,

I'm curious as to how the "mule" got down there as far as routing goes? How did you get that thing over to NZ in the first place? Hawaii and then where?? Non-stop with a AAR or a stop in between? Or can the 141 go non-stop between Hawaii and NZ??
 

sandman2122

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Travis - Hickam - Pago Pago - Christ Church was our routing. Tanker support for that type of mission wasn't available (at least when we did it) probably due to the low priority and a lot of -135's and -10's were busy rotating to/from the desert to support the no-fly zone.
 

sandman2122

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Ohhh, I gotz about a bit over 255, maybe 260 yrds...;)

Awesome how those balls keep going and going on the ice. Sorta like that scene in "Tin Cup" where Don Johnson teed off down the road.
 

aa73

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sandman2122 said:
Years ago, a commercial airliner was taking passengers on a "tour" of the ice from New Zealand (anyone wish to confirm this?)

Yup, that was Air New Zealand 901 (TE 901) on an Antarctica sightseeing flight - round trip from Auckland in 1979. Cause of the crash was the failure of the airline to inform the pilots that they had changed the routing from down McMurdo Sound to straight over the top of Mt Erebus. Contributing was sector whiteout, which hid Mt Erebus from view from the pilots, who thought they were over McMurdo Sound (rightfully so, based on the previous flights.) Pretty amazing chain of circumstances, but I'm glad the pilots were cleared of guilt in the end. You can read about it in Air Disaster, Vol 2.
 
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