Expedition Dates-1998-99 Plans

Section II of the 1999-2000 season plan includes information concerning vessel and aircraft operations along with estimated dates of expeditions and other significant events.  

Winfly Activities

Annual augmentation of the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) begins with austral winter flights (WINFLY), departing Christchurch, New Zealand, and arriving McMurdo Station, Antarctica, about 20 August 1999.  The aircraft will carry scientists and support personnel to start early pre-summer projects, to augment maintenance personnel, and to prepare skiways and ice runways at McMurdo Station.  This will involve 4 U.S. Air Force C-141B flights and will increase station population from the winter-over level of about 154 to a transition level of about 373.

Mainbody Activities

Austral summer activities will be initiated in late September 1999 with wheeled aircraft operations between Christchurch, New Zealand and the sea-ice runways at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.  This will involve approximately 23 C-141B flights and 2 C-5 flights of transport aircraft of the U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC), and 12 flights by C-130 transport aircraft of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.  The sea-ice runway and wheeled aircraft operations will cease about early December 1999, and then resume about mid January to the end of the season with 10 C-141B and 3 C-130 flights.  Between these two periods of wheeled aircraft operations, flights will be conducted by LC-130 ski-equipped aircraft flown by the New York Air National Guard 109th Airlift Wing.  The aircraft will operate from Williamsí Field , a prepared skiway.

The 109th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard in Schenectady, New York will provide four LC-130 aircraft and five crews for intra-continental flights from late October 1999 through early January, and add a fifth aircraft and sixth crew from early January through February when McMurdo Station closes.

Significant Dates

Other significant dates for the summer season include:

1.      28 September 1999 -           McMurdo Station "Mainbody" begins

2.      20 September 1999 -           Palmer Station opens

3.      03 October 1998      -           Marble Point opens

4.      25 October 1999      -           South Pole Station opens

5.      26 October 1999      -           Siple Dome Camp opens

6.      02 October 1999      -           Byrd Camp opens

7.      08 November 1999  -            Mid-C Camp opens

8.      13 October 1999      -           Pieter J. Lenie Field Station ("Copacabana")opens

9.      29 October 1999      -           Cape Shirreff Field Station opens

Ship Movements


The cargo ship, M/V GREEN WAVE, is scheduled to complete one trip to McMurdo this season.  The ship will depart Port Hueneme, California, in early January 2000 after onloading cargo and transit directly to Port Lyttelton, New Zealand.  The Green Wave will again onload additional cargo and depart New Zealand for McMurdo Station, Antarctica.  Cargo will be off-loaded between 03-10 February, after which the ship will depart McMurdo and proceed to Lyttelton, New Zealand to offload cargo destined for the States.  It will depart on approximately 17 February for Washington State to off-load waste and recyclable materials from McMurdo Station.  From there it will transit to Port Hueneme, California, arriving there on 12 March 2000.


The R/V NATHANIEL B. PALMER  will conduct 13 scientific research cruises, totaling an estimated 243 days at sea, during the 1999-2000 season.  The vessel will provide support throughout the season for biological, chemical, physical oceanographic, and marine geophysics investigations in the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and the Ross Seas.  Ports of call include Punta Arenas and Talcahanao, CHILE, Lyttelton, New Zealand, and McMurdo Station, Antarctica.


The R/V LAURENCE M. GOULD will conduct 12 scientific research cruises, totaling an estimated 310 days at sea, during the 1999-2000 season.  The research supported will include at sea research, station work at Elephant, King George, Livingston, Deception, Low, Smith, and Greenwich Islands, and station support at Palmer Station.

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