[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Daring rescue saves expert at Antarctica base
Australian jet makes rare winter landing on risky ice runway to evacuate US scientist in need of emergency surgery.
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2012 12:42
Australian government A319 Airbus succeeded in landing at McMurdo Station on the tip of Ross Island [AFP]

An Australian aircraft has made a rare mid-winter emergency flight to Antarctica involving landing on an icy runway to evacuate a member of a US government expedition in apparent need of urgent surgery, US authorities have said.

The US National Science Foundation said the medical evacuation was carried out on Thursday when a A319 Airbus from Australia's Antarctic research program was due to land with the American patient in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Airbus had already completed the most perilous part of its journey when it touched down on an ice runway or landing strip known as Pegasus near McMurdo Station, one of three year-round research outposts the National Science Foundation
runs in Antarctica.

Flights to Antarctica are usually only made in the summer, but the NSF said the patient, an American member of one of its projects, "may require immediate corrective surgery".

Antarctica is currently emerging from its six-month-long night. There is now a period of twilight during the day that may have assisted pilots in landing on the ice runway.

173

Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.