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A rare, risky mission is underway to rescue sick scientists from the South Pole

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posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 03:20 AM
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I saw this article and think it is pretty risky for the pilots involved.
I read it because I was supposed to go to the South Pole back in I think 03 when they were building the station. I was contracted to work with the crew installing the heating system. Went through a bunch of medical and dental stuff only to have my passport stolen from the passport agency which delayed things to much and did not go. Have always been interested in anything South pole related.

www.washingtonpost.com...< br />
the flight can be tracked here though not real sure how that page works exactly. I know some folks here know more about it.
flightaware.com...

I can imagine the flight across the continent in pure darkness, knowing you are the only plane or people for thousands of miles

I hope all goes well for the people.
i remember reading the book by the doctor who performed a breast biopsy on herself years ago. It talked about how the extreme cold would freeze hydraulic fluid and make the steel in the planes landing gear so brittle it would snap. I know they did a risky flyover and dropped medical supplies some fresh food and I think even restocked their condom supply lol seriously. They eventually landed a military plane C-130? with skis I believe just 2 weeks earlier than the first plane was intended to land. Even then they had just 5 miutes on the ground before the plane would become frozen to the ground.

I hope all goes well for these brave people, risking their lives to save another.




posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 03:31 AM
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I have experienced -70 wind chill in Michigan before, and THAT is cold like you cant imagine. That said, I look forward to the day to visit Antarctica.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 03:52 AM
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a reply to: tinner07

I know it's the title, but really...there is no such thing as a risky mission to save people from the south pole, ever.

With modern tech we could land sick people on either pole, throw them a birthday party, and get them home in time for daily treatments.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 04:05 AM
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a reply to: Vector99




I know it's the title, but really...there is no such thing as a risky mission to save people from the south pole, ever.


Did you read the article? I'm guessing anytime you fly a plane it is risky, but in total darkness severe cold over a basically deserted continent puts the risk level right up there.

All the technology in the world can't keep fuel from gelling up or steel from becoming brittle. Sure tech can minimize those risks but they are still real.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 04:15 AM
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a reply to: tinner07

There are warmers in gas tanks and on windshields of cars.

You mean to tell me you don't think a helicopter has the same luxury?

It's only a challenge if someone doesn't pay enough for the rescue.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 04:26 AM
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a reply to: tinner07

These past weeks I've been contemplating what a small world this is. Now I need to rethink that concept. It's not small, but rather miraculous, at least to me.




Barrels of gasoline were burning along the makeshift runway the South Pole station workers had prepared. They'd reached the bottom of Earth.


That article you linked was an amazing read. I couldn't help but feel my own limits breached by the mere theory of the depths, breadths and heights of the unimaginable bravery of every individual involved.

And I selfishly add that I'm glad your passport was stolen.

Fishy



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 04:26 AM
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a reply to: Vector99

Sure there is warmer in the fuel tank, but what if it fails? we're not talking a flight across the city, we're talking about a flight half across the largest continent on earth. A frozen deserted wasteland. No helicopter is going to make that trip.

Theres 2 planes heading down there. 1 for backup and search/rescue in case something goes wrong. The military opted out as there planes can't withstand the cold



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 04:28 AM
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a reply to: ClownFish

I know, some bravery there.




And I selfishly add that I'm glad your passport was stolen.


But why? I was really looking forward to going



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 04:38 AM
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a reply to: tinner07

I said it was selfish. Change one thing and you change everything. And I would not have known about all this. Your limitation was my expansion.

I revise that and hope you get your wish, but with good weather and a safe trip. Of course, if you are an adrenaline junky, then I hope your safe trip has the required amount of additional adventure.

Is that better?


Fishy



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 04:42 AM
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Well thats not good, getting sick all the way down there, but what are they sick with and how did they get sick? Maybe they found some odd looking bodies in the ice, or went adventuring in an ancient black city 60,000 feet up on a plateau, either way if all the dogs are dead or if their blood jumps. It might be best to take the research and GTFO



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 05:47 AM
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a reply to: tinner07


You over react about the cold. Do you realize that at 37,000 feet ( a very normal altitude for a passenger jet these days) that the cold is in the same range as you fear? And as for "the dark." Again, passenger jets flying across the oceans are in that same environment daily.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:03 AM
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originally posted by: tinner07
a reply to: Vector99

Sure there is warmer in the fuel tank, but what if it fails? we're not talking a flight across the city, we're talking about a flight half across the largest continent on earth. A frozen deserted wasteland. No helicopter is going to make that trip.

Theres 2 planes heading down there. 1 for backup and search/rescue in case something goes wrong. The military opted out as there planes can't withstand the cold


As aliensun said, it's more complicated to fly a commercial jetliner at altitude than to conduct a rescue mission in the arctic regions.

Helicopters definitely have the range, and are not flying into flash-freeze temps. They would be a much more ideal method to launch from a ship than a plane.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 10:47 AM
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This is an extremely dangerous mission. Just recently 90° S registered a temp of -113°F. While not the coldest temp ever recorded there it is in the top ten of all-time lows recorded there.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 12:11 PM
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a reply to: tinner07

This is quite interesting, thanks for sharing I plan on keeping track of this story.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 01:43 PM
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How does one get sick in such an isolated place did they get a new member or something?



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 03:40 PM
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a reply to: ClownFish

Yes sir, actually after i posted i figured maybe it was a bit of jealousy, not fear for my life... is all good my friend. I doubt I'll go now but you never know



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 04:12 PM
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a reply to: tinner07

Ok I should have wrote a brief synopsis of the story, my bad, it was early. It does not disclose the medical reasons for legal reasons, but to bring planes down from the US im guessing its not a common cold.

I know when I was planning to go, the medical tests were basically to ensure that when I got there and developed alltitude sickness, thats what it was. They would have prefered me to have my wisdom teeth pulled prior to deploying, but conceded that as I havent had problems with them.

The 2 planes enroute are (copy and paste) Between February and October, only one type of craft can fly to, land at and take off again from the South Pole: the tiny Twin Otter. Two of these hardy, winter-proof bush planes, operated by Canadian polar service firm Kenn Borek,


I don't care what anybody says, flying a jumbo jet across the ocean is in no way the same as flying this twin engine bush plane across a frozen continent.

from a CNN story dated 2009...Although flights in support of the South Pole program don't usually begin until late October or early November, the start of Antarctic spring, it was October 6 when two planes set out on what was dubbed Operation Deep Freeze.

Ten days and a handful of stops later -- California, Hawaii, Pago Pago, New Zealand and then Antarctica -- rescuers braved temperatures of nearly minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit to land a ski-equipped plane at the pole, drop off a replacement doctor and pick up Nielsen. It was the earliest such flight attempted.....

Apparently the female dr died in 2009, and it said in the article "nearly a decade after her rescue" so that would be 1999 or such.
Surely tech has improved since then, but I saw a picture of the plane on ice, the sun was coming up, it was like 2 weeks earlier than normal and considered highly risky. It was a big c-130 I think

The continent itself is like 13000 feet above see level. Not sure how comms are there or compass gps etc...

Maybe somebody like Zaphod could chime in and settle the facts, The Nat'l gaurd that supplies them I believe is based out of Chile, The fact that they are bringing these "bush planes down from the US, that tells me something.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: 123143




This is an extremely dangerous mission. Just recently 90° S registered a temp of -113°F. While not the coldest temp ever recorded there it is in the top ten of all-time lows recorded there.


Exactly, they may have a couple minutes before the plane freezes to the ground. In the meantime somebody has to light up the runway, probably clear it first. The article states burning fuel to light the runway. Everything down there runs on I believe (or it did in the late 90's, according to the book icebound, on JP3 jet fuel) So at 70 below you have to set up jet fuel barrels and light them on fire.. maybe a bit dangerous, probably not too bad.

Then have the patients ready to depart in under a minute, lest the plane freezes to the ground. Not sure how far away the runway is from living quaters, hopefully they can walk on their own.

I am sure they will offload some supplies as well and then there is this.... "It's a 10-hour flight, and you only have 12 or 13 hours of fuel on board," I dont know how they can refuel that quick, must be this plane can wont freeze down, also is this quote, Loutitt was the chief pilot for Kenn Borek during the mission to evacuate Shemenski in 2001. Before that rescue effort, no one had flown to Amundsen-Scott through the polar night. It was assumed that it couldn't be done.

So it has been done once...ONCE... Its risky



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:32 PM
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To anyone saying this isn't risky, you couldn't be more wrong. Yes, there are warmers in the fuel tanks, but there aren't in the fuel lines, or the hydraulic lines, or the oil lines.

There's a very good reason that they stop flights to the Antarctic in winter. Aircraft can't handle the temperatures you're talking about very well, and these have been modified to deal with the extreme cold they're looking at.

I had to deal with an LC-130 that got stuck there late in the season. It took 14 years to get it out again.



posted on Jun, 17 2016 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: tinner07

They can break free using engine power. The bigger threat is fluid reaching its freezing point and having engine failure.



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