Emergency Medical Flight?

and Eric's question about the penguins

Dear Mr. Dave and Mr. Matt,

We heard that someone was sick in Antarctica and needed to go to the hospital. Plus they needed to fly in bad weather. But the flight got canceled. We want to know if he died or is he ok? Or any other information on that cause. And tell us about the penguins that left. Where did they go and why? Bye!!

Your Friend,

Hi Eric,

There was a navy man who was bleeding inside. The doctors here did all they could, but thought he needed to get to a hospital. Everyone started preparing for flight. They had to bring planes from the US to New Zealand. They would not try it with one plane. If the plane had trouble and had to make an emergency landing, it would be dangerous. The trip from Christchurch New Zealand to here is 2300 miles. The people here had to start preparing the runway. They had to take heavy equipment onto the ice shelf to start grading the runway. Other folks were preparing fuel tanks to fill the plane for the return trip.

People in town were sad about the sick man, but happy about the flight. It would mean more fresh food. There are no scheduled flights until September, which means no fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs or milk. In past years they would drop food and mail from a plane. We will not see that this year, as the government is having money problems. I guess to some people in the government, they think that fresh food and mail are luxuries.

The man that was sick got better. The problem was a kidney stone, and he is fine now. They have canceled the flight.

As to the penguins, I'll let Matt tell you about that. Thanks for writing,

David Hess NK3T

Presently living in beautiful downtown McMurdo, Antarctica.

Hi Eric,

Last week, when I was down at Hut Point, where the penguins were, I only saw 14 instead of 18. Two were laying on the edge of the ice, eleven were still in the small group on the rocks, and the last one was sitting higher up on a hill, as if standing guard. I thought then that they looked like they might be ready to leave. I think they were going to a fancy dinner, because they were dressed in new tuxedos. Their new feathers glistened in the sunlight. The two on the edge looked like they were scouting out the water for seals, and the one higher gave a warning cry when an a swimming emperor penguin broke the surface of the water. It was almost like a military maneuver, with two on forward point, and one starding guard in back. That was the last time I saw them.

Matt Nelson

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