A rescue plane landed recently at the South Pole after flying through dangerous conditions in order to aid and evacuate a sick worker from a remote United States science station, according to federal officials. The airplane landed at the Antarctic after a daring 1,500-mile trip that lasted for nine-hours. The mission started from a British base on the Antarctic peninsula, as per the National Science Foundation, of which runs the polar outpost.
Daring Rescue Plane Successfully Lands to Evacuate Sick Worker at South Pole
The crew of the plane that landed at the South Pole, which consist of a pilot, a co-pilot, a medical worker, and the flight engineer, will rest and have to wait for at least ten hours. Should the weather become favorable by then, the plane will undergo refueling and will head back to Rothera, according to agency spokesman Peter West. After which, the sick worker will be taken out of the Antarctic region for further medical treatment. “It went all according to plan,” said West from Arlington, Va.
There is another worker that is also ill, however officials have yet to decide if the patient will fly out of the region, according to West. The science foundation shrouded the two ill workers in anonymity, but it is known that the two are employees of Lockheed Martin of which handles logistics at the station. Their medical conditions were not disclosed as well.
Since 1999, there have already been three emergency evacuations from the Amundsen-Scott station. Workers at the South Pole station are isolated from the rest of the world from the months starting in February all the way to October. These are the coldest and darkest months in the region, and these are therefore the riskiest times for routine flights. This latest mission is pushing the limits of what is deemed acceptable, according to the operations director at the British Antarctic Survey in London Tim Stockings. Stockings said that being prepared is key. He also mentioned that “the air and Antarctica are unforgiving environments and punishes any slackness very hard. If you are complacent it will bite you. Things can change very quickly down there.”
The first day of winter, which is the winter solstice, in the Southern Hemisphere just happened recently, and the sun will not rise at the South Pole until the first day of spring which will be in September. There is a webcam placed in the region showed the station in the distance during the landing of the airplane.
Share This on Facebook