Monday, October 23, 2017

Another Plane Arrives

October 25, 2017: Also on Sunday a Twin Otter arrived. The crew spent two nights because of poor weather in McMurdo Station 835 miles away on the coast. Both of the Kenn Borek Airlines crews brought freshies!

Once again I will repeat a post from 2013 about the Kenn Borek Airlines Twin Otters Havilland DC-6. These planes are built for Arctic and Antarctic exploration.

October 5, 2013. Two Twin Otters arrived from Calgary, Canada. They are contracted out by the NSF to provide air service around the continent between the main stations and many science camps. From Canada they travel to Texas, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile, and Punta Arenas, Argentina. They refuel and overnight at each of these stops. With two added cans of fuel onboard they have a flying range of 12 hours, at 140-150 knots, and an altitude of 12,000 feet. I talked with one of the pilots who said the trip and view is fantastic. There are two pilots along with a mechanic on each plane.

They then cross over Cape Horn and the Drake Passage before landing at Rothera Research Station, which is a British Antarctic Survey Base. From there it is a refueling stop at the South Pole. Due to inclement weather in McMurdo they spent the night.

After I arrived here in early January a Twin Otter left the South Pole headed to an Italian Base in Antarctica's Terra Nova Bay. The plane crashed into the summit of a steep mountain range. After several days the plane was found but there were no survivors. An attempt to recover the bodies may be made this summer. (2017: The bodies were never recovered)

Rothera Research Station

There is a world out there! The first plane since station closing.

They brought freshies! Bananas, apples, and kiwi.

A fine sight! Two Twin Otters on deck!

To most of you this may seem like nothing. But this half a banana I selected was great.

Two Twin Otters flew in from Rothera, Antarctic Peninsula. The peninsula is south of South America.

A fine plane purpose built for extremely cold weather. During the Antarctic winter they work in the Arctic.

There is a concrete runway at Rothera. Before leaving there the wheels are removed and wheel-skis are installed. Five miles out of Rothera the Otter lands on top of a flat mountaintop. There the wheel-skis are removed and these board skis are installed for the South Pole and beyond.

They carry a lot of equipment and supplies down from Canada. This Otter will be contracted out to the Australian Antarctic Program.

Kenn Borek also contracts out to various Antarctic tourist agencies.

The Otter is plugged in and heated.

This Otter is contracted to the USAP.

The ski tracks leading to the Otter apron.
Twin Otter McMurdo bound October 7th.

The 2nd Otter leaving. In this video you can see ice crystals in the air. It really doesn't snow here but it sparkles.


  1. Hi Mr. Rice,
    Our class wants to meet you when you return to Florida. We have lots of questions that we hope you can answer. Your fruit choices looked delicious. Maybe when you visit our classroom, we can have a party with our favorite foods. Take care of yourself and have a safe trip home.
    The Rice Stars of Fairglen

  2. Thank you for the invitation. I will certainly visit you and share my pictures and stories. I am now in McMurdo Station on the Antarctic coast after a 3 hour 835 mile flight from the South Pole and will next fly a C-17 Galaxy to Christchurch, New Zealand about 5 hours. South Pole Mike