Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Strange Birds

There are some strange birds flying around McMurdo
these days. They aren't skuas, although there
are a lot of them still here. They certainly aren't
penguins, although that might be entertaining to
watch them try to fly. They're Helicopters.
Specifically, a Bell 212 and a Eurocopter AS 350 B2.
Definitely a rare site this time of year and an
even rarer sight when they'll be operating in April.
They're flown by PHI (Petroleum Helicopters Inc.) out
of Lafayette, Louisiana. They operate the helicopters
here at McMurdo during the Summer season, and since
the Science season has been extended until April 17th,
PHI is shuttling people and supplies back and forth
to the Dry Valleys. They've been making quite a
few trips each day as the camps are "Putting In"
for their six week stay. It's hard to get used to
seeing things flying around out of the corner of your
eye as you're walking outside any time after the
beginning of February. By the time it becomes old
hat, they'll be going home for the winter.

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