Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ready for the invasion

We're almost done with preparing the 10,000 ft skiway for our first plane. Yesterday, I helped Kiwi Mike and Brien put up the approach flags at the end of the skiway that the planes will use to line up for their landing.

We loaded up the Screamin' Eagle, one of the LMC 1800 tracked vehicles, with flags, bamboo poles, drills and other tools, and Mike drove us to the south end, past the buried plane wreck, where we started putting the flags on the poles, which are in a cross formation.

It was sometimes a pain in the neck because some of the old bamboo poles were skewed or broken and needed fixing or replacing, then the flags quickly froze and became unworkably stiff, especially with heavy mittens on. Thank goodness for velcro fasteners - someone had a clue when designing the flags for down here.

We also had to replace some of the side flags, which need to be screwed in, and the only casualty of the day was when Mike accidentally screwed his glove liner to the pole. Despite the falling temperature and needing to make a few trips back to the station to get more supplies, we managed to make some progress and the whole job should be done today.

Here's a shot looking down the skiway.

As expected, the temps are not cooperating and we're sitting at -60C or -75F. Again, we need to be warmer than -50C if that plane is going to land. We may have a brief warm spell on Friday and if that happens, they'll try to fly in one day earlier. In the meantime, the crossing beacon for the skiway is thawing and waiting to be turned on when that first plane is 10 minutes out...


At 7:45 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Yep, I'm really pissed I missed it, but then again you missed 'sticking' me.

At 7:37 AM, Blogger Neal said...

The temps today make me think that first flights will be sometime next week.....

At 8:24 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

The record low temps are of course, entirely the fault of meteorologist Jeff DeRosa, who simply isn't trying hard enough.
-79.1F...give us a break!


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