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  1. #1
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    Plane Carrying 3 Canadians Missing in Antarctica

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/pla...ctica-20130124

    Associated Press
    Published: January 24, 2013

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Bad weather has forced rescuers to wait until Friday to try to reach a small plane believed to have crashed in an Antarctic mountain range while carrying three Canadians between scientific research stations.

    The plane was flying from a U.S. station near the South Pole to an Italian research base in Terra Nova Bay. Its emergency locator started transmitting late Wednesday night in the Queen Alexandra mountain range about 450 kilometers (280 miles) north of the pole, halfway to its intended destination. Authorities presume it crashed.

    The locator continued to transmit Thursday and rescue crews spent five hours circling above the site in a DC3 plane. However, heavy cloud and hurricane-force winds prevented rescuers from seeing the plane or attempting a helicopter landing.

    More at link......


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  2. #2
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    Antarctic search for 3 Canadians to resume if weather holds

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...ing-plane.html

    Search and rescue workers from New Zealand are optimistic that a break expected later today in the windy and snowy weather will allow them to make visual contact with three Canadians whose aircraft disappeared days ago in Antarctica and are believed stranded.

    “There was an improvement in the weather today, but not enough for the aircraft to get a visual on the site,” Conrad Reynecke of the New Zealand Rescue Co-ordination Centre told CBC News on Friday.

    Visibility in the area is down to about 400 metres. Winds were recently gusting at up to 165 km/h.

    “The weather is expected to improve significantly," by about 2 p.m. ET, he added. "With wind abating, hopefully we can get rescuers to the site."...........

    Mark Cary, a former pilot with Kenn Borek Air, said he flew with Heath on a number of occasions and described him as an experienced aviator who was well versed in cold-weather survival techniques.

    "I’m very, very confident that if this crew indeed survived getting the aircraft on the ground that Bob is the kind of individual that would be able to survive until rescuers could get to him and his location," he said.

    More at link.....


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  3. #3
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    Just reading this makes me shiver ------ and it is SUMMER in Antarctica right now. Hoping they put the plane down safely and are awaiting rescue.

  4. #4
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    I've checked for an update last night and today and nothing yet....if anyone else finds something, please post....


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  5. #5
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    They found the plane. Helicopter that spotted it couldn't land to check, but they say it was a direct impact and there are no survivors. I'll find a link in a minute.

    Link

    http://www.theobserver.ca/2013/01/26...ns-feared-dead
    Last edited by airplanelamp; 01-26-2013 at 06:39 PM.

  6. #6
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    The bodies cannot be recovered because of the conditions, but the voice recorder was removed from the tail of the plane. The plane is in ice and snow at about 3900 meters. The summit of the mountain face that they crashed into is 4400 meters. The bodies will be left there until next season, which is next October.

    The pilot had flown in Antarctica for 10 years. The co-pilot, Mike Denton, was married in September. He was 25 years old. I knew him. I'm a bit stunned. He was very bright ... could have been a neurosurgeon if he felt like it.

    It appears to be pilot error. They were flying at 4000 meters, then dropped to 2700 meters, then went back up to 4000 meters. Based on the flight plan, it appears that they turned too early.

  7. #7
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    Otto, I am so sorry for the loss of your friend...Anarctica is such an unforgiving place for anything like this to happen....condolences to the friends and familes of all the men killed also....


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  8. #8
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    Media Release regarding latest developments:

    http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/imag...twin_otter.pdf

    __________________________________________________ ______________________________

    January 25 (before wreckage was discovered):

    "Former general manager Steve Penikett said today that a computer program monitoring the plane tracked a dip, climb and a sudden stop, The Globe and Mail reported.


    Penikett, who is now based in Kabul, Afghanistan, watched on his computer as the plane was detected flying at just under 4000m, dropped to 2700m, then climbed back to its former height, travelling at 140 knots (260kmh), before suddenly recording "zero air speed".

    All of this happened "within minutes," he said.

    "It's my candid opinion that this aircraft flew into the rocks," Penikett said."

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8222...rctic-mountain
    Last edited by otto; 01-28-2013 at 01:45 PM.

  9. #9
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    One of the possibilities that has been speculated on in the AVCanada forum (where pilot Bob Heath was a moderator) is that both Bob and co-pilot Mike were avid photographers. I too have wondered whether they were flying low to get spectacular photos and then miscalculated the time required to achieve the correct altitude. Another point that has been made is that the crew miscalculated their position, turned too soon (assumed that they had passed Mount Elizabeth), dropped to 2700 meters, then realized that they still had to clear Mount Elizabeth, went back up to 4000 meters, but didn't quite make the 4400 meters required to clear the summit. No matter how I look at it, it seems that pilot error may have been the cause of the accident.

    It's a huge loss to the aviation community. Bob Heath was a major contributor to Arctic and Antarctic exploration and rescue. He was also very involved with pilot training and education. Mike Denton was a bit of a quiet nerd growing up, and it seemed like his life was just starting with huge opportunities, exciting and adventurous experiences, and a recent marriage. His life was cut short just when it all looked so promising.

  10. #10
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    "A memorial service has been held in Antarctica to honour three Canadians who died in a plane crash there last week.

    The U.S. National Science Foundation held the ceremony at its Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

    The agency says the dead men made the ultimate sacrifice while supporting scientific research in a remote and hostile environment."

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Me...054/story.html


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by otto View Post
    One of the possibilities that has been speculated on in the AVCanada forum (where pilot Bob Heath was a moderator) is that both Bob and co-pilot Mike were avid photographers. I too have wondered whether they were flying low to get spectacular photos and then miscalculated the time required to achieve the correct altitude. Another point that has been made is that the crew miscalculated their position, turned too soon (assumed that they had passed Mount Elizabeth), dropped to 2700 meters, then realized that they still had to clear Mount Elizabeth, went back up to 4000 meters, but didn't quite make the 4400 meters required to clear the summit. No matter how I look at it, it seems that pilot error may have been the cause of the accident.

    It's a huge loss to the aviation community. Bob Heath was a major contributor to Arctic and Antarctic exploration and rescue. He was also very involved with pilot training and education. Mike Denton was a bit of a quiet nerd growing up, and it seemed like his life was just starting with huge opportunities, exciting and adventurous experiences, and a recent marriage. His life was cut short just when it all looked so promising.
    Thanks for the information from the other forum and your thoughts....in one of the articles it mentioned the 'hurricane-force winds'....could those have kept the plane from staying on course also? pushed it up or down?


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  12. #12
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    It sounds like it was a perfect day for flying (and photographing) when their plane crashed into the mountain. A storm blew in after they crashed, with winds at 170 kph, which prevented SAR from spotting the crash site for a couple of days.

    Here is the weather report at the weather station closest to their destination at the time of the crash:

    METAR NZPG 230955Z 03011KT 9999 FEW080 M08/M12 A2899 RMK
    SLP820 RCRNR FATA MORGANA GRID N-SE GRID20011KT
    SDG/HDG=
    METAR NZPG 230855Z 02006KT 9999 FEW090 M06/M11 A2900 RMK
    SLP823 RCRNR GRID19006KT SDG/HDG=

    (unlimited visibility, light winds and practically clear skies)

    and here is the weather at the south pole:

    METAR NZSP 230850Z 360011KT 9999 BLSN FEW000 SCT040 BKN080
    M28/ A2872 RMK VIS GRID NE-NW 3200 BLSN FEW000
    35010KT ALL WNDS GRID SDG/HDF=
    METAR NZSP 230750Z 36010KT 9999 FEW015 SCT040 BKN080 M28/
    A2872 RMK CLN AIR 36009KT ALL WNDS GRID SDG/HDG=

  13. #13
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    I knew Michael Denton from 2004 until 2006. He was a very bright nerd that wasn't invited to parties, didn't have a high school girlfriend and who was over-shadowed by his father. I remember when Micheal got 95% and his father wanted to know why it wasn't 100%. Apparently dimensions were added to the perspective/isometric view, and those dimensions were not only meaningless, but erroneous. An 11 inches wide book may appear as 4 inches wide in iso/perspective view ... but it is erroneous to look at those dimensions.

    I really have to wonder where the weak point was in the team of Bob Heath and Michael Denton ... but it looks like they did turn too early. Who was more eager to take photos and who screwed up in the navigation and cockpit, trying to pull up on a 4400 meter summit from 2700 meters. That was fool hardy and they paid the price ... that's what I can figure out from reading all the information.

    I kind of like the idea of naming one mountain after Bob, Mike and Perry. Maybe Mount Heath, Denton and Anderson in Antartica is better. There are plenty of unnamed mountains in the range, but one mountain makes more sense than three ... it's not like they were Antarctica Exporers ... they ferried people and equipment into the area. C'est tout.

    Here is the map, including Mount Elizabeth.. It was the last clear skied sunny day before shutting the South Pole down for the season ... before 170 kph winds set in the following day ... when their plane was embedded in a glacier.





    Did you see the video of replacing airplane wheels with skis ... very cool landing.

  14. #14
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    From Otto above:

    Did you see the video of replacing airplane wheels with skis ... very cool landing.

    Thanks for the map and further information on the accident....

    No, I haven't seen that video....do you have a link? TIA


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

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