December 22 – Ilyusin May Fly Tomorrow

It is 4:00 PM MST, 8:00 PM local time at Patriot Hills.  24 hours since I last talked with Dave Hahn.  He just called in again to tell us that a group from the South Pole that is hoping to fly back to Chile on the same flight with us is now back at Patriot and everyone is hoping that the next Iluysin flight will come on schedule tomorrow December 23rd.  He, Peter and Bud were all together around Sat phone when we got the call here at the BAI office.

Dave says the winds have been up and down a bit during their stay at Patriot Hills, but overall things are looking good.  It never pays to take things for granted when it comes to flying conditions in Antarctica, but with a bit of luck Dave, Bud and Peter will learn tomorrow morning that the crew likes the report they get from Jacko, the meteorologist at Patriot Hills, and they will take off from Chile as scheduled on Dec 23rd.  4 1/2 hours later that big jet will be over the Blue Ice Runway and a final check of wind speeds across the runway with a hand held anemometer will be made and radioed to the crew as they approach.

It is an awesome sight to watch that big jet landing on the ice, and I know three guys who will be smiling as they stand out there in the cold clear Antarctic air thinking of a holiday season a hemisphere away.  Good luck guys.  We will be waiting for you call and the good news that you are on your way home.