Landing a heavy jet airliner on an ice runway must be some experience. Judging from the happy looks on the crew’s faces, they were quite pleased their Airbus A340 landed in Antarctica without incident.
Hi Fly are a charter outfit and get to do some unusual flying around the world. This time it was down to the southernmost continent, flying to and from Cape Town.
Happily Landed In Antarctica!
There was quite a bit of planning before the plane landed in Antarctica. There is no fuel available down there, so they had to carry enough for the return along with them. That meant landing at the aircraft’s maximum landing weight of 190 tonnes.
Luckily the runway is 3,000 metres long and the ice itself is 1.4 kilometres thick. No chance of the aeroplane breaking through and ending up on the bottom of the ocean! You can see a video that runs for about seven minutes below, detailing the flight.
It would have been amazing to have been one of the 23 passengers on board the 5 hour and 10 minute service. The closest one can get is one of the charters operated out of Australia. You don’t get to land though!
Hi Fly have published the full details of the flight online. It features all the information, including a write up by the flight commander, Carlos Mirpuri. That gives some detail around the planning that goes into doing something like this.
Amazing to see an Airbus A340 in Antarctica – what next, an Airbus A380? I shouldn’t be too surprised, as the runway length allows it and the runway is grooved appropriately like all runways, to help with braking.
Still a pretty amazing experience for everyone involved, I’d say. It must have been quite a comfortable flight, being one of the few people on board an aircraft that large!
Have you ever flown to or from Antarctica? Would you, if you had a chance? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image via Hi Fly.