Thursday, October 15, 2009
Twin Otter making its way over to our "terminal"
Wind Chill: -63.5C
Wind Speed: 11.1 kts
So, everybody was pretty happy to see the Basler and the Twin Otter land at the beginning of the week. I'll have to retract my earlier statement when I said the Otter fueled up and followed the Basler to McMurdo. The plane and its crew wound up staying at Pole for a couple days due to mechanical issues...Yikes!
They worked the plane away from the fuel pit, and parked it close to the Cargo office so the pilots and mechanic could work on it. Some of our crew assisted them as well, providing heaters, and an old parachute that provided a little bit of shelter from the winds!
The mechanic had a pretty good idea that he knew what the problem was, and the fix was pretty easy. Once he got the wing pulled apart, and swapped out the engine parts he needed to, Julian, Lexi and Lyndsey (sorry if I butchered spelling here) put the wing back together, and were looking at the following day to try taking off.
Because I know absolutely nothing about engines...and even less about them in planes, I figured it would be a good idea to offer my assistance. Before long, Julian had me up on a ladder by the wing unbolting one of the panels he needed to get into. I am ashamed to say that the little panel opening just above the ladder was what he had me working on, and it took a painfully long time for me to get anywhere with it....but I was "helping"!! I have never gotten to partially dismantle a plane before...Julian, thanks!!
I went absolutely nowhere near technical with my descriptions, so if there is something any of you three want to elaborate on, please feel free! If I botched your names, too, let me know...it's all fair game!
The Otter and its crew made it safely to McMurdo, and as soon as the weather is favorable, we will start increasing our population on station. Planes will start flying in sometime in the next couple days as long as the conditions are right, and summer will get underway down here. It will be great to see some new faces, and that was confirmed by the fact that nobody minded that the Otter was grounded here for a couple extra days!! I'm really glad the plane had its issues once they were on the ground here, and not somewhere between here and the coast!
You three take care...we'll see you in MacTown in about three weeks!