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Eric Janson
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:45 am

I fly for a company that operates everywhere and since December I get to do something very special.

Not allowed to post my pictures and movies - I'm doing the flights you see here with the A340.





This is the client - White Desert







Stunning doesn't even begin to describe this location - seeing it with your own eyes while walking on the ice is even more amazing than the videos.

A340 is perfect for these flights - we can operate with return fuel. Handles the glacier runway just fine.


Nark
Posts: 599
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:29 pm
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That’s fantastic!

I’m very jealous that you’re able to see that part of the world. One of the last bastions of tranquillity.
Twin Beech restoration:
www.barelyaviated.com
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Colonel
Posts: 2472
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:02 pm
Location: Over The Runway

Awesome! Interesting to see how expertise in the North is so useful in the South :)
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Scudrunner
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Location: Drinking Coffee in FBO Lounge
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Wow that is awesome! My brother used to do the Antarctic flying with borek. 5 tours down there or something isn’t the Baslers and Twotters. Gotta admit I’m jealous I didn’t get that opportunity.
5 out of 2 Pilots are Dyslexic.
digits
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:15 am

Sweet!

Are you hoping or dreading to break down there? Could go either way I think :mrgreen:
Eric Janson
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:45 am

digits wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2024 8:02 pm
Sweet!

Are you hoping or dreading to break down there? Could go either way I think :mrgreen:
We have plenty of redundancy on the A340 - that's why we use it on these flights.

We don't just jump in and go.

There is a briefing the day before. This involves all flight crew, representatives from White Desert and my 2 bosses. We get a weather briefing so we know what to expect.

Any failure in the braking system is not allowed. Same with the thrust reversers.

The flight departure date/time is moved depending on the weather forecast.

We also get Space Weather - Solar Flares can be an issue.

HF blackouts occur on almost every flight. We have SATCOM.

We also fly through the re-entry corridor of the Space X upper stage that launches Starlink satellites - they have a lot of launches. We have to coordinate with them.

We get a runway friction report before departure along with the latest METAR. They now send a webcam photo as well - a picture really is worth a 1000 words!

We have 10/20knot crosswind limit depending on the friction coefficient.

During the flight we get hourly weather reports.

Due to the lack of ground equipment we leave Engine #1 running on the ground so an APU failure doesn't ground us.

We tanker fuel to maximum landing weight - we leave excess fuel behind (anywhere from 4-10T).

We have 2 Engineers and a Ground Coordinator with us as well as a spares kit onboard.

It's a complex operation.

The flying is the easy part!

The runway condition is fine - the friction coefficients are the equivalent of a wet runway.

It's a lot warmer than I thought it would be -3c to -12c.

We use a contaminated runway for performance. Take-off is with Flap 3 TOGA (max) thrust.

I haven't noticed a tendency for the aircraft to move around - even taking off with a 17 knot crosswind.


I'm scheduled to operate the last flight of the season - really hope to be doing this again in November.
Nark
Posts: 599
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:29 pm
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You answered my question as to why to load/unload out of the right door.

I’m very jealous of you opportunities!
Twin Beech restoration:
www.barelyaviated.com
David MacRay
Posts: 788
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:16 am

Was that you that was turned back a few days ago? There was a thing on facebook talking about it on possibly the Flight Aware page.

The Wx was not good enough on arrival. Looks like they may have orbited hoping for a second attempt then returned to Cape Town.
Eric Janson
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:45 am

David MacRay wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2024 10:25 pm
Was that you that was turned back a few days ago? There was a thing on facebook talking about it on possibly the Flight Aware page.

The Wx was not good enough on arrival. Looks like they may have orbited hoping for a second attempt then returned to Cape Town.
Not me - this was my flight but they took me off it.

I've just arrived in Capetown - I'm supposed to be doing the last flight of the season.

I've been down there with poor weather. Conditions were very different than forecast (and reported). We tried to get into VFR conditions in an area with a low grid MORA. That didn't work so we climbed up and entered an area with a high grid MORA closer to the airport. We joined a hold in a safe area and descended again and managed to get VFR.

You do need to be careful - this is one of the remotest places on the Planet.
ChrisB
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2024 4:52 am

I was lucky enough to fly the Twin Otter down there this season!

What country are your pilots from?
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