The sun continues its downward spiral below the horizon and it gets a little bit darker every day. For the last week we were blessed with good weather, which was great for CMB observations and taking pictures. Clear skies come with cold temperatures and it got pretty chilly on this week’s cryogenics runs.
The Antonov Biplane was left behind by a stranded Russian expedition in 2001. The Russian members of the expedition were flown out to McMurdo and then Christchurch by the United States Antarctic Program. Nationals of other countries where rescued by Adventure Network International. It is rumored to have cost them US$ 25,000 a head. The Russians promised to come back and fix it, but it is still sitting on the Berms.
This was supposed to be a publicity stunt for the company that does convert the old AN-2 to a new engine, showing off how reliable these machines are. That went well :-)
|Please click on the image below to view the panorama:|
|Temperature: -66.7°C / -88.1°F, Windchill: -89.1°C / -128.3°F, Wind: E (86.1°) at 10.5 knt
Date: 2003-09-26 03:37:17 UTC
Scott Smith’s account on how we ended up with a Russian airplane seems pretty close to my take on the story.
Update 2005: Some deal was reached this year. Eight Russians came and fixed the plane for a week over Christmas. In return the Russians provided icebreaker support for McMurdo. The plane was flown to McMurdo and sent by ship from there.