Pegasus runway, where our wheeled aircraft land, was in poor shape again the end of the season. This was due to dust in the area that blew in from Black Island during a storm two seasons ago. That meant we had to send almost everyone back to Christchurch on the skied LC-130 Hercules planes. This made for logistical challenges for those in our department as well as a longer flight for the people leaving McMurdo. Fortunately for us, we were on one of the last flights, so by the time we were scheduled to leave the runway had refrozen and was once again ready for wheeled planes.
The Australian Airbus A-319 returned to Pegasus on Saturday February 27th and the two of us went out to work the planes arrival. This was the first wheeled aircraft to land here since mid December.
On the way back from Pegasus that day we came across a lone Emperor Penguin on the road. This was the first Penguin either of us had seen all season.
The Emperor Penguin with Mt. Erebus in the background.
Two days later on February 29, the Airbus returned to pick us up.
Here we are with co-workers Greg & Adam in front, who left on the plane with us and Cole in the back right who is staying for the winter.
The two of us are ready to leave.
Cedar was in the loader getting the new stairs put into place.
Dave at the top of the stairs, ready to get the passengers onboard.
The view of the Royal Society Range as we takeoff over the frozen Ross Sea.
The pilot flew us right over the top of Mt. Erebus so we got to see that for the first time ever.
The smoking cinder cone at the summit of Mt. Erebus.
Here we are on the plane and so happy to have another season behind us. We are ready for warmer climates!!!