New Zealand Antarctic Iceberg flights 2006

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In November 2006 the East Coast of the South Island of New Zealand received a series of unexpected visitors when around 200 large Antarctic icebergs turned up and cruised up the East Coast from Southland to Canterbury.

This was the first time since 1931 that icebergs had been visible from the New Zealand mainland. Scientific tests proved that the bergs had come all the way from the Ronne Ice shelf in the Weddell Sea.

The bergs themselves were truely spectacular with the largest over 1 km long and most several hundred metres tall and in all shapes and sizes.

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The New Zealand public clamoured for a sight of these massive rare visitors and while they were visible from hill tops around Dunedin the best views by far were obtainable from a helicopter flight. Several companies quickly arranged flights including Helicopters Otago Ltd which on most days flew 6 flights from their airfield near Dunedin to the Icebergs which were mainly around 50-60 kilometers from the shore. We offer here below postcards which have been carried on these flights.

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NZICEBERG 1   2006 (November 27) 1ceberg postcard pilot signed and postmarked Dunedin on flight day.  US$5

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The view at left shows the back of the above postcard.

It features pictures of the flight itself including the helicopter pilot John Gardiner and also a view of the actual iceberg which this flight landed on.

The postcard bears a helicopterr label as well as a flight cachet (Rubber stamp) giving aircraft flight details.

 

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Helicopter on iceberg

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Iceberg the helicopter landed on.

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NZICEBERG 2   2006 (November 28) 1ceberg postcard pilot signed and postmarked Ross Dependency Agency.  US$5

Note: This postcard is similar to the previous one and was carried on the same flight and is also pilot sined. It has however a very appropriate Ross Dependency stamp which features a helicopter flying over icebergs. The back of the postcard is the same as the back of the previous item.

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The above view shows the helicopter flying over a irregular shaped iceberg showing the waves working at breaking down the iceberg.

 

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The Wellington based airline Vincent Aviation also provided flights to see the icebergs. they used their 40 seater Dash-8 aircraft which is shown at left nearing one of the icebergs

 

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NZICEBERG 3   2006 (November 30) 1ceberg postcard pilot and co-pilot signed & postmarked Ross Dependency Agency.  US$5

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The photo above shows the Vincent Airlines Dash 8 aircraft at Christchurch airport just prior to take off on its iceberg flight.

The aircraft has a high wing configuration and thus is ideal for viewing icebergs.

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This photo shows an iceberg from the flight deck of the Dash 8

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NZICEBERG 4   2006 (November 30) 1ceberg postcard courier signed & postmarked Ross Dependency Agency.  US$5

Note: The above postcard has also been signed (at bottom left) by Klaus Arne Pedersen who took the photo shown which shows the "Dash-8" aircraft flying around the icebergs. Mr Pedersen was in a nearby helicopter and was very lucky (and skillfull) enough to manage to take this rare photo. The photo was then used to produce postcards for use just two days later.

Shown at right is the back side of the above two postcards viz; NZICEBERG 3 and NZICEBERG 4

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