Posted by Diana
Date: 28 December 2010
Temperature: .9 degrees Celsius
Wind Speed: 8 knots
Temp with wind chill: negligible
Sunrise: The sun is up
We have had a few days at Scott Base to catch up on some work and enjoy Christmas with the Scott Base staff. We head out to the field tomorrow and since the frozen sea ice roads are closed we will be flying out by helicopter.
Antarctica New Zealand has one helicopter which the New Zealand Government supports, however there are three others at McMurdo Station, the American base. All four helicopters are base at McMurdo and are rotated according to event needs. The New Zealand helicopter is the newest and nicest looking – I think. It is an EC 130 Eurocopter built in France in 2007. This helicopter will carry six people, the pilot and freight. We will be flying out to Captain Scott’s 1910-13 expedition base at Cape Evans to join the carpentry team in this helicopter.
The other helicopters are two French built AS 350 – which are also known as “Squirrels” or in North America “A Star’s”. They carry 5 passengers, a pilot and suppliers. The other helicopter is a Bell 212 built in the USA which looks the biggest but actually has a similar capacity to the EC130. We have weighed all our supplies in preparation for our flight tomorrow. It will be very exciting to see Antarctica from the air, as up till now we have only seen it from the ground.
The New Zealand EC 130 helicopter © Antarctic Heritage Trust 2010 - Diana