US C-130 Stranded in Antarctica

January 4th, 1999

A C-130 from the 109th Airlift Wing New York Air National Guard unit from Schenectady, N.Y., became stranded on an ice field in the Antarctic in November last year while it was carrying out airlift operations in support of the US National Science Foundation. After dropping off supplies, and while the crew were in the middle of their take-off procedures, the aircraft broke through the surface of the ice field and became lodged in a 134-foot crevasse.



Members of the 653rd Combat Logistics Support Squadron from Robbins AFB, with expertise in aircraft recovery operations, are helping to recover and repair the aircraft at Upstream Delta, located 250 miles from McMurdo Sound, the site of National Science Foundation polar operations. The 12-man team is staying at Upstream Delta in a camp site set up by a group of New Zealand mountaineers.

The aircraft has to be removed from the crevasse and all repairs completed by the end of January because by mid-February weather conditions deteriorate as the winter comes to the continent. The team will have to be removed for safety reasons and the aircraft will have to remain in place throughout the harsh winter.





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