Thursday, January 24, 2013

Twin Otter Aircraft Goes Missing In The Antarctic

A transport plane has gone missing in the Antarctic with three crew members onboard. The aircraft, which is operated by Kenn Borek Air, went down at around 10 PM local time Wednesday while making a routine flight from the South Pole to an Italian research station located at Terra Nova Bay. There is no word yet on the condition of the three men aboard.

When the Twin Otter aircraft went down and emergency locator beacon immediately went off, so Search and Rescue teams know where it is located. But bad weather has moved into the region so getting to the plane has not been an option at this point. That location falls under the jurisdiction of the New Zealand Antarctic rescue zone, so that country is aiding in rescue attempts.

The Kenn Borek plane is equipped with survival gear and rations for five days, so if the pilot managed to put the Twin Otter down safely, the crew is at least prepared to wait for rescue over the next few days. Weather forecasts indicate wind speeds of 90 knots (103 mph/166 km/h) in the area at the moment and heavy snow is believed to be moving in. That will hamper any attempts at a rescue for now, but SAR teams from New Zealand, Italy, the U.S. and Canada are all standing by to lend aid as soon as possible.

Lets keep our fingers crossed that the crew of the plane are okay and just waiting to get picked up.

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