SolarWind
Topic Author
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:45 am

South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:32 pm

Sorry if this has been on before...There are many filghts that fly near the North Pole on the Nothern Polar routes..from say the East Coast of the US to Asia..by AA..CO UA..and some Asian Carriers...But are there any Scheduled Flights that fly over or near the South Pole..( is the a Southern Polar Route ?).and if so what City Pairs and which Carriers would be involved...and if Not...Why Not ?? Thanks..Later.. SW.
 
SlamClick
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:09 am

RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:51 pm

Good question, I'm curious about this myself. Of course there are not a lot of major cities in the far southern latitudes.

When I was in Brazil picking up a Bandierante a few years ago, there was a crew from an Australian commuter airline picking up one of theirs. Their route home went from Sao Jose dos Campos Brazil, to Manaus to Jamaica, to Texas, California, Hawail (with ferry tanks) then down the islands to Australia.

It occurred to me at the time that if they could have gotten overflight and arranged for fuel stops in Antarctica their flight would have been shortened by 2/3.


Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
SolarWind
Topic Author
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:45 am

RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:25 am

SlamClick..The Question you were thinking about..is sort of what I had in mind...I don't have a Globe in front of me and my geography might be way off..But say you were flying from EZE or SCL to SYD..couldn't you head almost due South..over the South Pole.?.Maybe such flights would not be allowed because of the great size of the Antartic..and the lack of Alt. Airfields..and could a T7,744, or long range AirBus..make it N.S....and whether such a flight makes sense for a particular Carrier is another question altogether...
 
Dalmd88
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Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:27 am

Actually most North America-Asia flights don't go very close to the North Pole. A few years back both CO and DL did some 777 demo flights from NY-BOM. These would go near the pole. The biggest obstacle isn't the polar region but the lack of suitable alternates in Russia. The South has the same problem. McMurdo I think is the only paved runway on the continent. There is an Ice runway at the pole that is only useful in the summer and only with skis. Everyone I know that has been there said even in the summer it's still frickin cold.
 
USAFHummer
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Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 12:22 pm

RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:36 am

AFAIK, South Pole overflights by airliners are limited to flights that want to set a circumpolar speed record...I believe it was done for the first time sometime in the 1960's...the latest attempt involves an NW 744 charter, though I dont know if it actually took place or not...

The NY ANG has a wing, based out of Schenectady (I think), that flies LC-130's to the South Pole to service Amundsen-Scott station...for those missions I believe they stage out of CHC...

Civilian-wise, a company called ANI operates a C-130 from South America (Punta Arenas I think) to Antarctica to service adventurers heading down there to climb or do other outdoorsy things, and I believe the British Antarctic Survey has a couple of Twotters based on Antarctica (Rothera?)...

As for regular airliner flights, here are the aforementioned routes SCL/EZE-SYD, and PER-EZE (which isnt flown by any airline presently) for an interesting comparison...

http://gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gc?PATH=SCL-SYD%0D%0AEZE-SYD%0D%0AEZE-PER&RANGE=&PATH-COLOR=red&PATH-UNITS=mi&SPEED-GROUND=&SPEED-UNITS=kts&RANGE-STYLE=best&RANGE-COLOR=navy&MAP-STYLE=
(Can't get hyperlinking to work, sorry)

As you can see, SCL/EZE-SYD skirts off the Antarctic coast but PER-EZE would cut straight through the heart of Antarctica, in fact those special airliner charter flights usually fly from Argentina to Perth in order to get that coveted South Pole overflight...

Hope this helps,
Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
SlamClick
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RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 3:43 am

On further thought, it seems to me that Antarctica is off-limits to all commercial development by international treaty. That would seem to forbid air tourism or commercial routes, but Air New Zealand famously offered DC-10 sightseeing flights there.

Any one shed any more light on this?
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
USAFHummer
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RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 4:53 am

Check out this link, SlamClick...ANI is probably the most well-known company for Antarctic tourism...might help you a bit...

http://www.adventure-network.com/

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
liamksa
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RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:45 am

Late last year an Aussie bloke tried to fly his homebuilt over the South Pole to Argentina but strong winds forced him to land at McMurdo. They refused to give him the fuel he needed to get home and he had to be rescued by a fellow 'adventurer' who flew in the fuel he needed. If they're not willing to supply a bloke with fuel for his single-engine homebuilt I doubt they'd like the idea of airlines using their base as an alternate.

I remember reading about the AirNZ DC-10 which pranged into Mt. Erebus (wrongly aligned IRS wasn't it?) in David Beaty's The Naked Pilot and IIRC he strongly condemned the idea of using large transport jets as sightseeing aircraft.
 
nonrvsmdmf
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 9:11 am

RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 9:14 am

I don't know about any regular south pole or Antartica flights.

This is what I do know. Flights over the South Pole or
Antartica are not restricted. All it takes is the right aircraft that
can do it, prior coordination with the appropriate ATC centers and
the overflight permits for the countries that require them. There
are no flight level restrictions.

The North Polar routes on the other hand are quite restrictive.
A track reservation is required. North tracks are only available
during a certain time and are not 24 hours. The time restriction
is for limited ATC coverage in Russia. Max flight westbound in
eastern Russia is 38100 meters and eastbound is 39700 meters.
Entry to the routes is also restricted to specific flight levels
and aircraft timed separation depending on the track selected.

Lately Edmonton ATC is not allowing random directs to the tracks
so you must follow a specific preferred route or be rejected.

Russia requires 7-10 days for overflight permission and the route
filed must be the route submitted for the permit. Revisions are
allowed but they get angry after two revisions.

China only allows 3 revisions before the require and new permit
request. China lead time 14-30 days.

The biggest problem with polar routes is weather. Where most
planes fly, the wind and temp data is gathered by using weather
balloons, pireps, sigmets etc. There are not weather stations
all over the north pole region or Antartica except for a few outposts
covering a very large region. Wind and temp data for these areas are
forecasted by using models (guessing) and very few pireps.

I have planned several planes over the North polar area and a few
over the South. Any questions? I will be happy to answer if I can.
I did not forget...I just misplaced the thought...
 
Dalmd88
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Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 7:10 pm

USAFHummer is correct about the SCH Guard unit. The trip from SCH to CHC sure sounds long in a LC-130. They have to hop their way across the Pacific. The unit also supports the Greenland science missions. Originally they were tasked with supporting the DEW radar sites in Greenland. As of 97/98 they took over the South Pole support from the US Navy.
 
timz
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RE: South Pole Fly-Over

Sun Jun 06, 2004 7:16 am

Looks like there aren't any scheduled nonstops from Australia to South America at the moment? The great circles from Auckland to SCL and EZE stay well offshore.
 
Guest

RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:55 am

I think I remember some carrier actually advertising its EZE-SYD route as transpolar some years ago. Can't remember whether it was QF or AR however, and the degree of reality of that ad Big grin.
 
Arcano
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RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:54 am

No routes from SCL or EZE to Australia fly over antartica:

in order: 721,146,732,763,722,343,733,320,772,319,752,321,88,83,744,332,100,738, 333, 318, 77W, 78, 773, 380, 73G, 788, 789, 346
 
airplay
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RE: South Pole Fly-Over Question?

Wed Jun 09, 2004 11:04 am

I don't know about you guys, but if I stepped on an airplane and the captain announced our routing would take us over the south pole, I'd get off.

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