Station update

Lots has been happening the last week here at Davis in the field and on station. We have completed the deployment of the Mt Brown ice core camp which has been a massive effort by so many on station and in the camp. In all, we did 13 Twin Otter flights and 3 Basler flights to deliver all the necessary cargo and people to drill an ice core.

The shutdown of the main power house (MPH) has commenced and we are operating now on our emergency power house. It’s strangely silent in the MPH without the diesel generators running though there is a swarm of tradies in there servicing engines, boilers and electrical systems.

It’s been hectic in the air for us this week, with the two helicopters, Basler and Twin Otter seemingly in constant motion. Last Friday we had our Basler and the Chinese Basler, Snow Eagle, come over from Casey together. At one stage the comms team were dealing with five aircraft simultaneously, with three fixed wing planes landing at the skiway within 10 minutes.

12 new people arrived including glaciologists to work on the Sørsdal Glacier, new aviation crews and a laboratory manager. What took most of us 14 days travel on the ship, took just 18 hours for our new arrivals to fly from Hobart to Davis via Casey. This week we farewell 10 Davis folks who are headed back to Hobart by air and we will soon get another mob in from Hobart and Casey.

A team went up to our plateau skiway this week to start preparing it for operations by first digging out the blizzed up vehicles, no easy task! We will move the skiway operation here soon as the station fast ice will probably not last much longer.

Field training has continued with three groups heading out under the guidance of our Field Training Officers this week.

On Sunday many enjoyed walks and bike rides in the recreation area and in the afternoon we had the Davis air show out on the fast ice ski landing area. The pilots and engineers from Kenn Borek Air were good enough to open up the Basler and Twin Otter for us to see. Many enjoyed this opportunity and a few of the locals came along as well. The Basler is a fascinating plane. It is a 1943 built DC3 that served in the Second World War, including in Operation Market Garden. Both it and the Twin Otter are amazing workhorses for our program.

By Robb (Station Leader).

A twin engine skiplane on the ice.
Basler JKB.
(Photo: Robb Clifton)
Penguins stand in front of a skiplane.
Twin Otter KCS and local airshow attendees.
(Photo: Jason Burgers)
A camp of tents and plane on the ice.
Mount Brown South Camp.
(Photo: Doug Westersund)
Two people erecting a tent.
Kitchen tent goes up at Mount Brown.
(Photo: Tessa Vance)
A tradesman covered in soot.
Dirty boiler servicing by Iain.
(Photo: Robb Clifton)
A mechanic works on an engine.
John checks one of our engines.
(Photo: Robb Clifton)
Three aircraft on the skiway.
Three aircraft on the skiway.
(Photo: Sam Siddins)
A man leans out the window of a plane.
Chris checks out the Twin Otter.
(Photo: Richard Graney)