Airbus A340 lands in Antarctica – level 3

08-12-2021 07:00

An Airbus A340 plane flown by Portuguese company Hi Fly landed on an icy runway in Antarctica for the first time in history.

The plane landed after a five-hour flight from Cape Town, South Africa, and the entire journey there and back covered 4,630 kilometers. An adventure camp commissioned the plane, and the plane brought supplies to its resort. The team spent less than three hours on the ground of Antarctica.

According to the captain, landing on a blue ice runway required a totally different way to approach the mission. There was no ground support equipment such as air start or a ground power unit, and there were other concerns. For example, there were no navigation or visual aids to support the landing.

Hi Fly specializes in wet leases, and it’s responsible for the insurance, maintenance, and other logistics. The company said that the aircraft would fly a small number of tourists alongside scientists and essential cargo to Antarctica.

Difficult words: commission (to formally choose someone to do a special piece of work), air start (a power source that starts large engines), wet lease (an arrangement that covers the hire of an aircraft including the flight crew and sometimes fuel).

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