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North Pole ski: Urgent information from Barneo - ice runway broke beneath coming plane, but all safe

Posted: Apr 07, 2011 04:25 am EDT

(By Correne Coetzer) The Russian crew at Barneo sent out urgent information that the ice runway has broken and all plane flights are suspended. The Mi-8 helicopters were sent out to look for a new ice floe and the weather turned to blizzard conditions.

Last Degree guide, Mike Thornewills home team sent word to ExplorersWeb saying they were flying in to Barneo only to find the runway breaking up beneath them, and Prince Harry is stuck on the ice.

Barneo Ice Camp

The Russian crew at Barneo sent out urgent information saying that the runway has cracked when a second Antanov-74 flight was nearing Barneo yesterday afternoon. The crack stretches through the whole camp. The incoming flight was redirected to Longyearbyen and all other flights are canceled until a suitable and safe runway is constructed.

The Barneo staff inspected the runway and decided to search for a new ice floe as it looked like the crack is not likely to ice over for safe landing. The Mi-8 helicopters were sent out to look for a new ice floe. No news yet if they have found one.

On the first flight yesterday were Last Degree skiers, Russian scientists, as well as 12 people who visited the North Pole by helicopter. Barneo assured that the people are all safe in the camp. They are in a warm tent and get good food. The skiers, who arrived with this flight, have all started skiing to the North Pole.

The weather, reported the Barneo team, turned against them at the ice camp; the wind changed direction and turned into blizzard conditions.

The Prince stuck on the ice

Fiona Thornewill, from guide Mike Thronewills home team, send word over to ExplorersWeb: They landed at Ice Station Barneo on the Arctic Ocean only to find the runway breaking up beneath them. So they had to return and fly all the way back to Longyearbyen.

The Russians are working hard to get everything sorted but it looks like it will be 36 hours to 2 days before they will be able to fly again. They are all safe and happy and had an amazing flight.

Mike said Prince Harry was meant to be coming back tomorrow [April 7] but he is stuck on the ice until the runway is sorted.

Latest reported coordinates of the drifting camp:
April 5: N 89° 01' and E121° 34'
April 6: Wind 12-14 meter per second

#Polar #Air #topstory

The crack in Barneo ice runway on the Arctic Ocean which appeared in the early afternoon of April 6 (local time).
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp, SOURCE