Geographic South Pole


Fourmilab South Pole Expedition

January, 2013

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Hercules Visit

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2013-01-05 14:35 UTC Click images for enlargements.

Two Chilean Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo planes flew into the blue ice runway to deliver supplies and crew to support the visit of Chilean president Sebastián Piñera Echenique on January 15th, 2013. This was the first time C-130s had landed or taken off from the blue ice runway. The C-130 is a very capable aircraft, but the first landing on an airstrip where the wheel brakes do nothing and you're at the mercy of crosswinds is always a pucker factor event. Happily, these crews were seasoned professionals and everything went as planned.

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2013-01-05 14:36 UTC

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2013-01-05 18:12 UTC

Less than four hours after landing and discharging their cargo, the C-130s were ready to depart. Crews of these planes are cautious about the effects of a cold soak, although temperatures at Union Glacier were well within the operating experience for the C-130.

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2013-01-05 18:12 UTC

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2013-01-05 18:12 UTC

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2013-01-05 18:16 UTC

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2013-01-05 18:21 UTC

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2013-01-05 18:23 UTC

Terrain. Pull up! Pull up! Just kidding—I have cropped this photo.

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2013-01-05 18:25 UTC

Here is the initial camp established by for the Chilean presidential visit. This was less than a kilometre from the runway, in a very windy area.

by John Walker
February 22nd, 2013
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This document is in the public domain.