A Report from Expedition Base Camp on Holtanna Glacier in Antarctica
The camp is buzzing with activity and progress. Following a lot of digging and burning out numerous chainsaws by using them to cut through ice to free the trapped and damaged aircraft, yesterday was an exciting day. They were able to fire up an engine. The left wing has been straightened and the team is close to completing repairs on the right wing.
As Sue and I were talking, a DC-3T carrying a new cockpit was landing. The support plane is the same model as the one the team is repairing. An image of a DC-3Turbo, also known as a Basler BT-67 is shown. These amazing aircraft have been workhorses in air transport since the 1930’s and are now remanufactured with turbo engines by Basler Aviation in Oshkosh WI. For more information on the aircraft, go to the website at: www.baslerturbo.com. The DC-3/C-47 are conversions are used around the world. From the photograph, you can see the wheel-skis making it possible to land on variable surfaces.
There have been no major medical issues to worry Sue. The most excitement occurred when her tent caught fire. The jet-fueled stoves have provided efficient safe heat except when very windy conditions created a downdraft and the floor of the tent began smoking.
Recently the weather has been warmer, in fact, warm enough to melt surface ice making walking treacherous. The icy winds make working outside difficult at times. Sue said the hard work has been exhausting. It must be difficult if she gets tired! Sue has amazing endurance, but after three weeks of hard work and restful sleep, she says she is back to normal. Along with her work, she is busy taking photographs and will be able to provide some exciting presentations upon her return.
The crew continues to eat delicious food that recently included squash soup, shish kabobs and lasagna. From a progress standpoint, they are waiting for a delivery of more chain saws and have yet to free the rest of the aircraft from its icy trap.
Sue will be calling again soon with another update.