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13 December, 2002

Helicopter trip to New Harbor

We have been given a time for departure for the next trip to the Taylor Valley. The helicopter technicians picked up our all of gear yesterday along with the required information. They need at least 400 pounds of materials for a sling load. We qualify and the water we need to take along certainly adds to the weight. we have 5 5 gallon jugs with us. How much weight does the water add to our weight? How much water will that provide for each team member? How many days can we stay at New Horbor and not run out of water?

The sling load is built and we depart at 10:45 a.m. on a partly cloudy day with some wind. While we expect the ride to be bumpy, it seems suprisingly smooth.

When we arrive, we quickly unload the sling so the pilot can take the sling and ropes along to the next pickup site. Those pilots keep busy taking research teams all over the area for their research projects. Knowing how busy the helicopters are, Laurie immediately schedules our return trip for next Monday.

When we arrive and check out the field camp, we decide that we don't need to put up tents because there are cots in this Jamesway complex that is slightly larger than the field camp at Bonney Lake.

We unpack our gear, stow the food and organize for collecting our first samples in the late afternoon and early evening. Fortunately we do not need to worry about it getting too late or getting dark.

I have a chance to check over the sling load before we get on the helicopter. It seems like we have a lot of stuff!

Here the helo technician is getting ready to hook the load under the helicopter while it hovers just over his head. We are in the helo and wonder what he feels like as we come so close to him. He has one of many interesting support jobs in McMurdo Station, all of which go to support the science research happening here.

We can't see our sling load, but since there are shadows, well, here is what our sling load looked like from the window of the helicopter.

Rusty is getting weighed for our helicopter trip. We all get weighed every time we get on the helicopter. The pilot wants an accurate measurement of the weight being carried in and on the copter. I'm happy that everyone is so safety conscious

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