Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Station Closing, a different perspective: ARFF

So, as I briefly alluded to in the previous post, South Pole Station closed for winter on 15 February. The remaining 50 souls will be here for another 9 months, with (hopefully) no arrivals or departures until the station opens in October.

Since the departing passengers on the final flight included the Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting (ARFF) crew from this summer, the fire brigade stepped in to support the aircraft’s departure. I was one of the firefighters in the cab of Elephant Man, the tractor we drag the sleds with that hold the ARFF firefighting apparatus. It meant missing out on goodbyes at the flight line, but lent its own perspective on the scene.

We stayed on-station with the tractor until the plane had been off the deck for 10 minutes. Part of those 10 minutes included a couple fly-bys of the station. The camera I was using had no viewfinder, so seeing the LCD screen and actually being able to line up the shot proved not so easy. Below is the only picture I actually managed to snap with the LC-130 the least bit in the frame. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll be able to get others’ photos if necessary. Actually, I found it amusing when I reviewed the photos afterward.

"The beginnings and endings of all human undertakings are untidy."
~John Galsworthy


PPA's Ethics Committee said...

Hi Ethan!!

My comment is unrelated to this post.

I have recently started a blog about ethics. I have literally had an international following. The only continent not represented is Antarctica.

If you view some of my pages, will the country of origin show up as Antarctica?

My blog address is:

Feel free to email me at

Thanks in advance.

I hope you can do it an it works. It will be really funny at this year's convention if I can say all 7 continents have tapped the blog.


John Gavazzi

EthanG said...


Sorry for the belated reply. Unfortunately, the location for hits from down here shows up as back in the U.S., due to the way our satcomms are set up. The ISP might show up as United States Antarctic Program at least.