This image of the Aurora Australis entering the sea ice was taken by drone pilots Simon Payne (Australian Antarctic Division) and Angus Hardwick (Helicopter Resources), during one of the ship’s last voyages to Antarctica. When perfect flying weather presented itself, the pair quickly organised the required paperwork. While occupied in the task, and unbeknown to them, the ship’s Third Mate saw the ice edge approaching. She put the ship through a donut manoeuvre, giving the pair time to launch the drone and capture the moment it crashed through the ice pack.
Simon Payne is a camera operator, drone pilot and videographer in the Australian Antarctic Division’s Corporate Communications team. He travelled to Antarctica in late 2019 to capture vision and stills that support the outreach work of the Division.