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PacificBeach88
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Antarctica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:30 am

Given this site's new format it has been hard to see if this subject has been brought up or not. But it seems like a Twin Otter is the only rescue plane available to pick up a scientist that has had a stroke at the South Pole Research Station, in the deep southern winter.

I read: http://www.wired.com/2016/06/rescue-sci ... le-winter/

But it doesn't really go into depth about WHY no other plane can do this mission, and given its limited performance, makes it all the more dangerous. Can anyone give some additional info or "color" to why this is?
 
GavinSharp
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Re: Antartica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:48 am

Also posted here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1335593

The article in that thread mentions that the plane requires skis, since there are no paved surfaces in Antarctica. Apart from the skis, that these planes were chosen likely has more to do with the NSF's existing relationship with Kenn Borek Air, and their experience with these kinds of missions, more so than anything particularly unique about their Twin Otters.
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Antartica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:10 pm

The ANG C-130 have skis and do all the 'summer' ops to the South Pole. One thing I read is they are not approved by the Air Force to operate in the extreme cold of the South Pole 'winter' season. They are also currently tied up with missions to Greenland.
 
yyztpa
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Re: Antartica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:08 pm

Other rescue attempts have been made but is this the first in dead of winter? We're only a few days short of winter solstice.
 
Viscount724
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Re: Antartica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:03 am

yyztpa wrote:
Other rescue attempts have been made but is this the first in dead of winter? We're only a few days short of winter solstice.


No, this is at least Kenn Borek's 3rd similar rescue mission. There was one in 2001 and another in 2003.
This item covers the 2001 mission:
http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/canadians-pull ... -1.1127682
 
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Groover158
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Re: Antartica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:59 am

I'm happy to stand corrected, but I thought the Chilean Air Force (FACh) routinely undertook winter missions to Antarctica in their Twin Otters.
 
Viscount724
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Re: Antartica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:19 am

Groover158 wrote:
I'm happy to stand corrected, but I thought the Chilean Air Force (FACh) routinely undertook winter missions to Antarctica in their Twin Otters.


All the Chilean bases in Antarctica seem to be at about 62 to 64 deg. S. I doubt they've ever flown their Twin Otters to the U.S. base at the South Pole this time of year. That's the destination of this mission (and the earlier ones) which is almost 2000 miles further south than the various bases near the coast of Antarctica.
 
yyztpa
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Re: Antartica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:31 pm

Viscount724 wrote:
yyztpa wrote:
Other rescue attempts have been made but is this the first in dead of winter? We're only a few days short of winter solstice.


No, this is at least Kenn Borek's 3rd similar rescue mission. There was one in 2001 and another in 2003.
This item covers the 2001 mission:
http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/canadians-pull ... -1.1127682


My point was on 'dead of winter'. The 2001 flight was on April 24 a month after the Equinox and the 2003 flight was on September 21st at the Equinox. The September flight should have had sun near the horizon.

The current rescue will be 24 hour darkness anywhere south of 66.56°.

You may also recall another Borek flight in the southern summer which did not end as well.
http://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/10s/kba.html
 
smokeybandit
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Re: Antarctica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:22 am

The Otter arrived safely. Now they just hope they can get out of there again.

http://news.sky.com/story/1715593/darin ... south-pole
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Antarctica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:48 pm

Good luck for the take-off and return flight, and for the ill workers.
 
Viscount724
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Re: Antarctica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:54 am

smokeybandit wrote:
The Otter arrived safely. Now they just hope they can get out of there again.

http://news.sky.com/story/1715593/darin ... south-pole


The mission was successful.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/k ... -1.3646966
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: Antarctica - Twin Otter Rescue Mission

Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:12 am

PacificBeach88 wrote:
it doesn't really go into depth about WHY no other plane can do this mission, and given its limited performance, makes it all the more dangerous. Can anyone give some additional info or "color" to why this is?


The initial call went to the U.S. Air Force, but then it became clear that it was too cold for the USAF to send its C-130s. Thanks to its relatively simpler systems and smaller fuel capacity, the Twin Otter was the only plane cut out for the mission. At the South Pole's low temperatures all fuel has to be warmed for flight, so that it does not to freeze into "an unusable jelly". The grease in a plane's hinges and gears can freeze too - this happened during a similar evacuation back in 2001.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/spe ... outh-pole/

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