Boomerang’d

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Hercules aircraft ready for departure, and the logo of our Christchurch hotel, which happens to look like a boomerang.

Two days later and I’m back in the hotel in Christchurch.

On day 1 we were scheduled to leave on the 4th flight of the day, but our departure got delayed several times until it was postponed to the following morning. Unsuitable weather and a faulty plane were to blame.

This morning we were confident we’d depart – weather at the runway in Antarctica was sunny and calm, and we were the only flight scheduled.

Our flight – on a US Air Force LC-130 (ski-equipped Hercules) cargo aircraft – left on time.

Unfortunately, when halfway to Antarctica, the loadmaster indicated that we were turning around. This had become a ‘boomerang’ flight – returning to where it had departed 8 hours earlier – and it is frustrating to say the least.

On our return, we were told it was due to fog over the runway site and, annoyingly, this had since cleared.

Tomorrow, we try again!

To get an idea of the no-frills flight that we get to repeat tomorrow, watch the video below (edited by Shaun in our hotel room).

Update: We successfully arrived at Scott Base, Antarctica, the following day. But it was far from uneventful. 10 minutes after boarding the plane, we were then asked to exit the aircraft. A faulty front ski on the Hercules was to blame. This was then fixed and we departed on our 8-hour flight south. Hoorah.

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