Three days ago we were expecting to have our first plane, the Basler, land here but the weather at Rothera had other plans for it. We did however see a plane yesterday:
The FAA flew a Challenger jet from McMurdo to here to inspect our skiway, which has been shifted to start further down and ends just past the station now.
They made four low passes along the skiway and we all came out of the station to gawk at the strange sight of an aircraft in the air. The South Pole Telescope out in the Dark Sector is in the background.
Various photographers snapped these photos, including this one with the end of the station and the ceremonial pole.
Even though our skiway is nicely groomed and ready for something to land on it, the Challenger only flew by. It couldn't land here on wheels anyway. But we are expecting more company this morning - the Kenn Borek aircraft are en route now and the Basler will be landing in an hour. One Twin Otter is following it and the crew will spend the night here so tonight our population will be 63. And tomorrow, if the weather cooperates, the Basler will return with 15 summer people and from then on, the population will just keep growing. Yikes, time to get out of here!