December 15, 2003

nice finish to Stranded Aviator story

earlier I wrote about the Australian adventurer who flew his home-built airplane over the South Pole. High winds made him use more fuel than planned to he had to ditch at McMurdo. Neither NZ nore the USA were willing to sell him the gas to get home, they were happy to ship his plane backl at cost and get him a flight home but no gas... This was resolved (Yahoo/AP) bq. WELLINGTON, New Zealand - An Australian who became the first pilot to fly solo over the South Pole in a homemade plane flew back to New Zealand after being stranded on the ice for six days without fuel. bq. Jon Johanson from Adelaide, Australia refueled his single-engined plane with supplies donated by a British aviator who had abandoned a separate around-the-world attempt to fly over both the North and South Poles. bq. Johanson took off from the U.S. McMurdo base ice runway on the South Pole just before 2:00 a.m. Monday and touched down at Invercargill on the southern tip of New Zealand at about 2:55 p.m. Monday. bq. "He's safely landed and he's just going through the border control checks," Invercargill Airport operations manager Eric Forsyth said. bq. His safe return ended a frosty episode in relations between Australia and its two closest allies, the United States and New Zealand, who had refused to refuel Johanson's plane. more: bq. Some Antarctic research stations have a policy of not selling fuel to adventurers, largely because they don't want to encourage poorly planned expeditions. Authorities at the base also said they didn't have the right type of fuel for Johanson's plane. bq. Relief came Friday when Polly Vacher, a British pilot, offered to give Johanson her spare fuel stored at the base. Polly has quite the story to tell herself - check out her website here She is planning to bring her plane to Seattle, WA July 6th through 9th 2004. Quite the operation... Posted by DaveH at December 15, 2003 4:19 PM