Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just One Flight Gets In

It's been a week since our first Mainbody flight was supposed to arrive. We got Fight #1 in yesterday afternoon. That went well.

Flight #2 was due in this morning at 0600. This means that yesterday the passengers got up and checked out of their Christchurch hotel. They spent the day out and about in Chch. They probably reported to the CDC at 2200 for a 0100 departure this morning. Their plane departed and got all the way here (5 hours in the air). While the plane was en route, the weather here took a sudden turn for the worse with high winds and blowing snow. Visibility went down to around 100' and the ceiling dropped to about 500'. This is below the limits set for a landing. The plane turned around and went back to Chch. Those poor passengers.

There was supposed to be a second flight today carrying Flight #3 passengers, arriving around 2200 tonight. It was canceled due to our weather. Flight #2 will try again tomorrow, with a scheduled departure of 1000, arriving at 1500. There's no telling when we will get caught up with the flights.


Bubba's Sis said...

I can't imagine being 5 hours in the air and then having to turn around and go back! I'd be a wreck!

Anonymous said...

What impact does this have on those at McMurdo expecting to leave? Or do they not use those flights to return to New Zealand?

Polar Doc said...

There are far more people arriving than departing. So, once the first plane got in, everyone who was schedule to depart the Ice up to that day were able to board the plane to Christchurch.

The delay in getting in the first plane was a disappointment to those who were planning to leave. However, they still had a room, food, and friends. The biggest inconvenience was for those who had self-purchased non-refundable airline tickets out of NZ. If they were to be delayed too long they might miss their departures. Most people built in a 10 day buffer on flights out of NZ for just this reason.