Throughout summer we host aircraft at Halley to support a range of science. This summer we've been doing a lot of cloud atmospheric studies and more recently installing GPS units to monitor how the ice is moving.
In order to cover the distances required there are fuel depots dotted around the continent and I was lucky enough to take a flight to our Theron depot to lug a few barrels of fuel around.
As I walked in to my office at 0800 Adam the station leader shouted my name, expecting some sort of network issue I was pleasantly surprised when he said “Get your bags, you're flying today”.
The aircraft was due to leave at 0900 and we still needed to refuel and load the barrels. While scrambling for some breakfast I also managed to pack lunch, grabbed my camera and headed out to load up.
After 45 minutes of fuelling and lugging 200kg barrels into the plane we get airborne. Shortly after, Mark the pilot let me take control and I flew down to 79 degrees south, the furthest south I've been yet.
Mark took over and after finding the depot flags we landed and preceded to off load. We were on the deck for 30 minutes, rearranging the drums and having a bite to eat, and of course a couple of photos.
On the way back was my favourite part of the flight. We descended and flew low level skirting the edge of the brunt ice shelf. The edge of the ice shelf is about 40-80m above the sea and as it plunges into the water the ice is a deep but light blue which is very difficult to reproduce in a photograph.