This trip down we flew on the Airbus 319 operated by Skytraders out of Melbourne, Australia. It's a nice change from the C17 because this plane has windows, flight attendants and we got to sit in business class seats. We had a beautiful flight down and some great views of Antarctica. Below are some shots from the flight and of the continent as we flew into McMurdo.
Here we are enjoying our comfy seats.
Sam & Twan stretching their legs.
Two of our co-workers Ray & Danny.
There were several cracks and areas of open water where there would normally just be solid ice. This past winter has been much warmer than usual.
These icebergs, which look small from the air, are actually very large and most likely several hundred feet high.
Here's a close up of the same icebergs and you can see how high they are by the shadows they cast.
As we approach the McMurdo area we started to see the Royal Society Range, which lies across the Ross Sea from us.
A view of Black Island as we're coming in for our landing.
Fuel tank #3 with Ob Hill and Mt. Erebus in the background. You can see the wind blowing off Ross Island.
Here's everyone waiting to get off the plane. It was raining in Christchurch when we took off and when we landed we found out our door was frozen shut. It took nearly a half hour or more until they got heat on it from the outside and could get it open.
Walking off the plane.
Ivan the Terra Bus was waiting to transport us to town.
Here's Kelly casting a long shadow as he walks to the Terra Bus.
Here are co-workers Gift and Twan on the Terra Bus.