19 November, 1999
Finally the day has come to fly to the summit. One last briefing so we will be responsible passengers in the helicopters that will carry us. We have to know how to work around these machines, know the signals from the pilots and learn what to do in an emergency if there is a forced landing. Here Philip is practicing getting into the helicopter seats, tricky if you have never done it before. If the weather holds we will head out on Friday, noon PST. Watch the live web cam at the address below. This camera is positioned just above the helo pad and runs all the time, tune in anytime. If you do not see any activity at first just be patient. Tune in around 11:30 and you will see me walking down to get processed. I will be the one in the large red jacket. http://web-cam1.mcmurdo.gov/javaimage.html
This helicopter belongs to the New Zealand military and lives as Scott Base around the corner from Mcmurdo Station. Today this work horse will take me and two other team members to the acclimation site ( Fang Glacier, 9000 ft) for 2 days so our bodies can get used to the thin air. The pilots talk funny so we make fun of them. They say we talk funny. if you are watching on the web cam and see this helo take off, I will be inside.
This is one of the small helicopters that will be coming to the summit whenever the weather is good to help us gather data. They will have the gas analyzer in the cone of the cockpit and actually fly through the gas plume. Of course the wind, weather and gas plume all have to cooperate if good data is to be collected. Here one of our team members gets a ride up the mountain to help haul equipment.
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