UNION GLACIER BLUE ICE RUNWAY
AVIATION CONSULTING CORP.
In August 2017 the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry (IOMAR) was approached by Aviation Consulting Corp the Operator of Falcon 7X tail# M-OUNT.
The proposal was to perform a return private flight from Presidente Carlos Ibanez del Campo International airport (SCCI) (53°00’09”S 070°51’16”W) that serves the city of Punta Arenas in southern Chile to the Union Glacier Blue-Ice runway (SCGC) (79°46’40”S 83°19’15”W) in Antarctica, located in the Heritage Range, Ellsworth Mountains, on the glacier that gives it its name.
The flight time would be approximately 3hrs 45mins carrying three pilots plus one safety pilot/engineer and five passengers.
SCGC is the blue-ice runway for Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica, located in the Heritage Range, Ellsworth Mountains, 1870 miles from the Southern tip of Chile and only 600 miles from the South Pole. The naturally formed blue-ice areas require very little preparation for landing wheeled aircraft.
Aircraft M-OUNT’s journey to Antarctica being an example of how safety oversight is managed, and high levels of customer service are delivered. Whilst this event may have been unusual, our team’s pragmatic approach when working with the operator to understand the unique challenges of the task, quantifying the risks and challenging the assessment mitigations, was a successful one.
The flights enabled M-OUNT to claim the following accolades:
1st landing of Falcon 7X in this latitude;
1st landing of any business jet in this latitude;
1st Landing of M-Registered aircraft in Antarctica;
The last landing of any aircraft at SCGC in 2017;
The first aircraft to land at SCGC in 2018.