January 11, 2010
Vinson leader, George Dunn, called in Sunday, Jan 10, and reported that while weather was quite good, winds weren’t quite low enough to bring in the IL 76. The ice runway at Patriot Hills runs pretty much east/west. To fly in or out, we need a combination of reasonable visibility, reasonably low winds and not too much snow on the runway. We’re close,but when it comes to safety, close isn’t quite good enough. The flight service, ALE, is quite conservative and rightfully so. They have decades of experience at running a safe operation in Antarctica and we know they’ll pull the trigger when conditions are right. George reported that the team is perfectly content snacking, having a hot drink and playing cards. They’re waiting for good flying weather inside a big WeatherPort tent with a floor, stove, water melt system and heater. Tables and chairs complete the picture.
Of course the team is anxious to get home to family and friends but they’re safe, successful and patient. They’ve taken care of the things they could control and got up and down Vinson without a scratch. Now it’s time to enjoy the wait and let mother nature tell them when it’s time to fly.
They’ll get out soon and we’ll let you know when it happens. I just wonder who’s winning the card game??