Union Glacier current: The Ilyushin has landed on Antarctica
Posted: Oct 31, 2012 09:03 pm EDT (Newsdesk) The IL-76 has landed at Union Glacier blue-ice runway SCGC for the first time this season. Solo return skier, Aaron Linsdau were the first and only skier on the flight to ANI's base camp. Watch a video of a previous IL landing. And ANI sent over some news to ExplorersWeb.
Yesterday Aaron told ExWeb that he was still busy with some last minute adjustments to his gaiters while his loads of butter were keeping fresh in the Hotel Condor de Plata's fridge.
In a voice report from Union Glacier, Aaron says he is going to take a day to finalize his preparations and make sure everything is right because once he is out there, "that's it". He also says he wants to make sure he does not follow any roads, "because I am unsupported and unaided and that would be cheating and I definitely don't want to do that."
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ANI staff member Rachel Shepard told ExplorersWeb they are happy to have the same, experienced Ilyushin crew back who has flown for them in previous seasons.
She added, "One upcoming item [this season] that is kind of exciting is the 25th anniversary of the first wheeled DC-4 landing at Patriot Hills, on November 21, 1987." They will soon be posting about that on their website.
ANI are also excited about the weather research project that they are collaborating on with the University of New South Wales and expeditions that they are supporting on the different routes, says Rachel. Data obtained will be added to Antarctic weather databases and help to improve understanding of Antarctic meteorology.
Their website explains more, "Expeditions will be provided with a Kestrel 4500 weather meter capable of measuring temperature, pressure, wind speed and direction, and humidity, and will be asked to take daily weather observations. Lightweight iButton temperature sensors, capable of continuous self-recording measurements, will be attached to one of the expedition sleds and the data downloaded at Union Glacier camp at the end of the trip."
Below a video of the Ilyushin-76 landing at Union Glacier last season, by Eric Larsen: