North Pole 2016: Barneo ice floe found – Updated

Tractors and staff dropped by Ilyushin-76. Updated news about Boeing-575 flight.

(Story Edited March 28, 2016, 11:59 EDT: News about Boeing flight from Moscow)

A suitable ice floe near the North Pole has been found for the building of the temporary Ice Camp, Barneo. Coordinates were 89°15’353″ N, 87°00’417″ E, reported the team.

Primarily the ice floe should be suitable to build a runway of at least 1200m long for an Antonov-74 to land from Longyearbyen, Svalbard. They therefore need a floe of at least 2km long and 40 meters away from the nearest open water (lead), says Irina Orlova, and organizer of Barneo.

When the ice floe was found on March 25, an Ilyushin-76 flew from Russia, dropped two tractors by parachute, as well as staff and other equipment, and the clearing of the runway has started. The tent camp that is built every year, serves as a base camp for skiers, tourists, runners and scientists.

Latest report from the 15th Russian Barneo team:

March 26 coordinates: 89°15’250″ N и 085°32’680″ E.

Temperature: -28 °C, wind: 3 m/c, clear now.

Last night an Ilyushin-76 airplane from Moscow (which btw had its birthday yesterday) performed airdropping of the equipment, fuel and the landing party on “our” ice floe. At first two approaches the plane dropped the cargo, at the third – the paratroopers.

Because of cloudiness and low visibility the airdrops were carried out by the coordinates. Everybody and everything landed successfully and the construction of the runway started immediately. This year there is a lot to do: some icy parts have to be sawn down or knocked down, other places should be poured over. It will thus take 3 or 4 days more to finish the job.

Edited March 28, 2016, 11:59 EDT: News about Boeing flight from Moscow:

A Boeing-575 from Moscow Vnukovo airport landed at Longyearbyen(Svalbard) yesterday. It brought some special cargo for Barneo (things not intended for airdrops like scientific equipment) and two “planted” team members who would work at the storehouse sorting and preparing things for the coming expedition.

By yesterday’s afternoon over 100 m of the runway had been ready and that’s a good progress.

Coordinates on March 27: 89°15’880″N 085°11’847″E. Temperature: -28°C


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