Great News from Sue and Lidia!
Today her joyful voice announced the team is about a week away from departing the expedition site. They are closing in on completing the rescue of a workhorse turbo-charged DC-3 named Lidia.
The photographs of Sue and the plane are compliments of a friend of hers, Brandon Shendruk who emailed them to us. The photos give us a perfect view of the plane and their accomplishments, confirming the amazing progress they have made digging out the plane and putting it back together.
Part of the terrific news is the final repairs and movement of the plane will be with the help of a dozen Russians, two of them pilots. Sue said the crew will likely be lifting the plane out of its current position in the snow using large airbags. This process will raise the craft so the landing gear and skis can be attached.
The weather was calm today but a storm is approaching. They are hurrying to get the propellers and ailerons on by tomorrow night. Once the plane is moved onto a hard surface ice runway further testing can be done in preparation for flight.
Based on progress with all the Russian help, the mechanics are thinking Lidia will be ready to fly by Tuesday or Wednesday.
Sue says everyone is healthy and things are going well. The next anticipated flight to Cape Town is January 8th or 9th. She may be back in South Africa by next Thursday!
Mission accomplished will be very soon!