Search launched after 3 Canadians disappear on Antarctic flight


WELLINGTON, New Zealand –  A small plane carrying three Canadians disappeared while flying over an Antarctic mountain range, and bad weather Thursday was hampering a search.

The flight was going from a station near the South Pole to an Italian research base in Terra Nova Bay. Its emergency locator started transmitting about 10 p.m. Wednesday in a mountainous area about 280 miles north of the pole.

After posting last night I stayed up late watching the surviving in the arctic tundra episode of Survivorman on Netflix looking for tips that might help if I’m forced down in Greenland or northern Canada on my upcoming Cirrus trip.  Afterwords, I went downstairs to my man cave and started sorting out the winter survival equipment I’ll be taking with me.  Whenever I pack my survival gear for a trip I think about what I would like to have with me if I was forced down in whatever environment I’ll be flying over, sometimes it’s multiple environments.  On one trip last year I had to be prepared to survive in the jungle, desert, mountains, north Atlantic, featureless ice cap, arctic tundra and northern forest.  Try fitting that survival kit in a single engine aircraft along with survival suits and a raft.

  Then I woke up this morning and read about the plane down in the Antarctic and a chill went up my spine.  Exactly what I’m preparing for has happened and it was an extremely rugged and dependable Twin Otter that crashed.  I know the Twin Otter well because I fly one at my skydiving school in Minneapolis and let me tell you it’s a far more capable aircraft than the Cirrus.  It sounds like 100+ mph winds and poor weather might be a factor in the crash and are hindering rescue efforts.  I pray for their safe return and hope I’m not next.

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