In the 21st Century you don't expect to see an old DC-3 originally built in 1944 working for its keep in the Antarctic.  However the DC-3 has survived many other attempts to pension it off and in its latest re-incarnation the old warbird has proved once again that it can fill a valuable aviation role.

Last season Adventure Network International chartered a Basler BT-67 aircraft from Basler Turbo Conversions. This aircraft was used to transport a number of field parties from Patriot Hills to various out camps and on one time to the South Pole. This particular trip in January 2000 carried a party of NASA meteorite hunters including two American Astronauts Jim Lovell and Owen Garriott.

DC3.jpg (38574 bytes)

The above view shows the Basler BT-67 at the South Pole in January 2000

To see more photos of this visit of the Basler and the Astronauts to the South Pole click here.

In November 2000 the National Science Foundation decided to charter the same aircraft for a month to fill in a perceived logistics gap between the small twin otter aircraft and the much larger ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules operated by the Air National Guard of the USAF. This is the first time that the NSF has chartered a ANI aircraft.  This is perhaps also a response by NSF to the Air National Guard's current inability to provide sufficient flights to the South Pole.


The following photos were all taken at the South Pole in mid November 2000 by Scott Smith who deserves the credit for his good photography and agreeing to share it with us Thanks Scott.


SPDC31.jpg (48529 bytes)

The Basler-BT-67 arriving at South Pole Station on the 19th November 2000


SPDC32.jpg (60721 bytes)

A close up view of the Basler-BT-67 taxiing on its skis.


SPDC33.jpg (64979 bytes)

An attractive view of the Baslet BT-67 parked on the ice at South Pole


SPDC34.jpg (48792 bytes)

This view shows the Basler BT-67 with South Pole buildings in the background.


It is expected that the Basler will be used for at least a  month carrying cargo and personnel around various US bases and field camps.


The following two views of the Basler BT-76 were taken at Blue-ice runway at McMurdo in the last week of November, 2000.    This was the first DC3 to be seen in the skys over McMurdo since the US navy last used them two decades ago.


DC3 Basler.jpg (45991 bytes)

The Basler BT-76 is shown on the runway after a snow storm which left  much snow on the runway as can be seen around the aircraft. The aircradftv at left rear is a ski-equipped Hercules of the Air National Guard of the USAF.


DC3 Basler internal Load.jpg (105101 bytes)

This is an internal view showing the arrangement of cargo inside the Basler BT-76.

To see more photos of this visit of the Basler and the Astronauts to the South Pole click here.

Return to front page of Antarctic Philately

Return to  "Recent Antarctic News"

go to front page of Shades Stamp Shop Ltd