A New Zealand C-130 Hercules successfully evacuated an American in need of medical attention from Antarctica to New Zealand.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130H Hercules crew has, carried out a rare medical evacuation of a patient from Antarctica, taking advantage of a narrowing gap in the weather to fly the challenging night-time mission. On Tuesday 25th 2024, the New Zealand Hercules flew from Auckland to Christchurch, taking off at 02:00 local time and arriving at Phoenix Airfield (WAP USA-42) in Antarctica at 08:50.

According to the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Hercules landed using night vision goggles. The eight-hour return flight required the Hercules to be “hot fueled” on the ice (meaning the engines were kept running during refueling). The engines were kept running to protect them from the extreme cold – the temperature was -33C or -27-4F and -40C or -40F with the wind chill.
The patient was an American from the large McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22) near New Zealand’s smaller Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1). The patient is reported to be in a stable and non-life-threatening condition. The manner of the problem the patient was facing is unclear, but they required medical treatment that was not available on the base in Antarctica.

Read more at: https://simpleflying.com/royal-new-zealand-air-force-flies-c-130h-hercules-for-rare-mid-winter-medical-evacuation-in-antarctica/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR0aKIn6UmAdoiOwCdFizjyCDwe-WGlZkLv_WsGOeKWJjz5MIrI2mWj-Wos_aem_gfxsiwCKyqVzAoYXZ4xPgg

Thanks and credit to:  Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF)

Midwinter 2024-More from the Antarctic overwintering Teams

Concordia Station (WAP MNB-Ø3)

The photo was taken at 2pm (DMC) Temperature -70.5 °C (Windchill -83.2 °C) Wind 3.6 km Greetings from the 13 winterovers involved in the DC20 winter campaign.
Gabriele Carugati (pic aside), Licensed HamRadio IU2LXS , 43 years old, has been selected as station leader of the XX Winter Campaign of the National Research Program in Antarctica: with his team, 13 people in total, he will spend nine months in complete isolation due to the extreme temperatures. Gabriele will stay at Concordia Station untill November 2024.
Of course, we hope to hear him On Air someday…


 Also from  the Ukrainian     Vernadsky Station (WAP UKR-Ø1)   the Antarctic winterover Team send Greetings from Midwinter!

 WAP wish the best for everyone for this particular days down    South!


Happy Midwinter time

Midwinter 2024 in Antarctica

On the  occasion of  this year’s Midwinter Day,  UKAHT (UK Antarctic Heritage Trust) wrote:
Christmas celebrations may be far from our minds at this time of year but 21 June has always been a red letter day in the Antarctic calendar as those South mark the shortest and darkest day of the year.

This year the day takes on special significance as it marks eight decades since the establishment of Base A at Port Lockroy (WAP GBR-Ø1) when Britain’s research on the continent began. Today is an opportunity not only to celebrate but to reflect on the remarkable strides that have been made in polar science at this time.  The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust works to advance the preservation, enhancement and promotion of Antarctic heritage and to engage, inform and inspire a global audience.

We care for six important Historic sites on the Antarctic Peninsula, including Port Lockroy, as well as supporting other organisations with grants to ensure our Antarctic history is safeguarded and shared with a new generation keen to learn about Antarctica. We also support other organisations to look after British Antarctic heritage sites in other parts of Antarctica. It is active in the promotion of Antarctic public engagement and supports institutions who have a connection to Antarctic heritage through their collections or education and outreach.

TNX and credit to the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT).
Readers can subscribe through the mailing list at:   info@ukaht.org


WAP has collected few post card messages from Stations in Antarctica and we are pleased to share them with all the Antarctic chasers and followers. Thanks to eveyone sharing happyness with us on the Midwinter 2024 by sending us greetings and wishes.

Happy Midwinter to all those involved involved in various capacities to the Scientific Bases in the  Icy Continent …  adding a prayer: the World of Radioamateurs, always hopes for a Radio contact … don’t be lazy, challenge propagation and give us the joy of contacts, as often happened in past years! CW or SSB, it doesn’t matter, but come on air!

LU8XP Cosme Alfonso Averna, “Pupi” is SK

After suffering from a progressive illness that had recently kept him away from amateur radio, Cosme Alfonso “Pupi” Averna died last june 19 2024 in Ushuaia  (WAP ARG-23) at the age of 76. He was an important collaborator of the Radio Club Ushuaia where he held different positions including Vice President and Secretary.
Now “Pupi” also runs around in the sky chasing our CQ DXs together with the many friends who keep him company in heaven. We down here remember him fondly, mindful of the QSOs we enjoyed together.

He was born in Bahía Blanca on July 3, 1948 and at a very young age, he joined the Argentine Navy. In 1984 he was assigned to the Ushuaia Naval Base where he worked in the Weapons Workshop, specializing in ammunition and explosives, retiring after reaching the hierarchy. of Senior Warrant Officer.

Pupi chose Ushuaia as his place in the world, being from Fuegian by adoption after four decades living there. He had entered the world of amateur radio in 1990 with the LU8XPA license which he changed in 1998 to LU8XP.

A lover of DXism and international competitions, Pupi obtained outstanding positions, due to his geographical location and he did join several 20-meter wheels, meeting numerous colleagues from different provinces.

Once he retired from his work activity, he bought a motor home with which he traveled thousands of kilometers throughout Argentina for years, visiting colleagues with whom he had made friends through the radio.

In 2011, together with Viki Balmaceda LU5DUZ , Pupi LU8XP attended the most important amateur radio fair and exhibition in Europe in Friedrichshasen, Germany. In the photo he appears in the center with Viki on the left and Tony DF2RY on the right.

Pupi Averna was a well-known and beloved figure who discovered amateur radio at the “End of the World”, becoming in a short time a true ambassador of communications on the big island of Tierra del Fuego.

On the pic to the right, we see Orlando Perez PT2OP in Ushuaia (Mar-2014), Tierra del Fuego, operating as LU/PT2OP at Pupi’s station, LU8XP, which is also in the photo. 

A good recall of “Pupi” was sent by Volker DL8JDX, a well known Antarctic veteran; Volker said: « I am very sorry about Pupi LU8XP sk. I had the luck to make acquaintance with him in Ushuaia Jan. 28, 2023 …»
On the picture aside: DL8JDX, LU1XU and LU8XP

Pupi, Hamradio World will miss you but surely, we’ll keep you on a corner of our hearth. R.I.P.
Condolences to his family and to the Ushuaia Ham friends.

Plateau Station. KC4USJ, WAP USA-13

Plateau Station was the highest and most remote scientific station established by the United States. Construction of the site, started on December 13, 1965, and the first Traverse Team  (named  SPQML II) arrived in early 1966. The station was located at 79° 15’ South, 40° 30’ East in the far interior of the Antarctic ice cap, 11,890 feet above sea level.
Plateau Station  was operated and staffed by the National Science Foundation and US Navy.
A select Team of four scientists and four navy personnel were on constant duty at the station, which was under the command of a naval medical doctor. Originally designed for two years of service, the Base was in continuous use for three years until January 29, 1969, when it was closed but mothballed for future use. Plateau Station  was also the coldest of any United States Stations on the Continent and the site for the world’s coldest measured average temperature for a month at that time, recorded in July 1968, at −99.8 °F (−73.2 °C).
Plateau Station closed permanently in January, 1969.

Actually Plateau Station  is an inactive American research and  support Base on the central Antarctic Plateau.

On 22 December 2007, the Norwegian-US Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica visited the Base and entered the buildings, finding that it was mostly intact.

In 2017, the CoFi-Expedition made a stop at  Plateau Station. They entered the Station through a hatch at the top of highest building, the watch tower. The Bse is completely snowbound nowadays. The only visible building at the base is the meteorological tower. The expedition left the base with the same general impression as the expedition in 2007 did.
Researcher Sepp Kipfstuhl said: «If someone should visit the base in 10 or even 20 years, it’ll have barely changed. The meteorological tower should be visible for the next 500 years».

To get something more about Plateau Station, go to:
Memoirs & Diaries — The Antarctican Society

To read a recollection of the U.S. Navy person in charge of mothballing the station, Electronics Technician John Wright, click the red link below:

Ham radio Callsign issued at the time for Plateau Station was KC4USJ.
The  QSL of KC4USJ here aside,  prove the Hamradio activity 1968-69 from Plateau Station (WAP USA-13).

TNX Bob Hines K4MZU for having shared this very rare QSL with us!

Lion Airfield, Antarctica, WAP FRA-NEW

Lion Island  66° 39′ 32″ South, 140° 00′ 53″ East  is  small rocky island 0.2 mi NNE of Petrel Island in the Geologie Archipelago. It was surveyed and named by the French Antarctic Expedition of  1949-51 under André Liotard. The name derives from the rock summit of the island which has the shape of a lion’s head.
As for the Lion Runway, it is an artificial creation undertaken in the 1980s, which saw the destruction and the subsequent leveling of several islets in the Pointe-Géologie archipelago with dynamite,  to connect them together and create an airstrip, at a time when environmental standards were not the same as today.

Cuvier Island and  Lion Island  which were only 250 mts and 150 mts respectively to the North, the Pollux and Zeus islets as well as the Buffon Islands (two rocky islands 150 mts  to the East), disappeared under the earthworks of the Lion track.
Pollux Islet a rocky islet in the Pointe-Géologie archipelago (Adelie Land) and Zeus were themselves two rocky islets in the same site;  Zeus islet had the bad idea of ​​being located in the axis of this track, between the Pollux islet, 100 mts to the Northwest, and the smallest of the Buffon islands, 100 mts to the southeast. Lamarck Island,  a rocky island located 250 mts away to the southeast of Pétrels Island in the fateful  NW-SE alignment of Cuvier, Lion and Buffon in the central part of the Pointe-Géologie archipelago, was spared by the construction of the Lion trail.
The first work began in January 1983. A committee of wise people responsible for studying the ecological impact of the track recommended to the French government to stop the work at the beginning of 1984. This same committee recommended resuming construction of the track, considering that the project would only have a slight impact on the animal species living on site, resulting in only a 10% drop in fertility. Work resumed in November 1987 was completed on February 12, 1993. The excavations made it possible to create a dike connecting these islets separated by shallow arms of the sea, the whole constituting a track 1,100 mts long. A volume of 700,000 m3 of rocks were torn up during the operation.
In 1993, a huge heavy storm caused irreparable damage to the roadway, and the airfield was never operational but the site still has structures and buildings that serve  as depot, simply due to the fact that it’s quite close to DDU

At that time, the TAAF wishes to entrust the operation of the runway to the airport services company Sofrévia, but the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) which sent technicians on site at the end of the work, issues a report unfavorable to the opening of the airfield. In question, the quality of the aggregates whose diameter is likely to constitute a danger for the reactors and propellers of large aircraft. Furthermore, the Air Force cannot makes iys planes available for qualification tests due to its participation in the Gulf was which monopolizes its resources. On January 26 and 27, 1994, a storm hit Pointe-Géologie. Giant waves break over the islands, the wind blows at 160 km/h with peaks of 200 km/h. This storm directly affects the runway, creating a breach 300 mts   long and 15 mts wide, which makes the runway unusable. The head of the TAAF research mission, Bernard Morlet, states that this damage is not attributable to a fault in the construction of the runway but to a lack of maintenance work, postponed as a cost-saving measure.

On September 21, 1994, the Minister of the Environment Michel Barnier formalized in the Council of Ministers the abandonment of the Adélie land trail.

Now, it will be quite possible that a couple of days operation by David Brunet FT4YM  could take place from what currently is the Lions Airfield on Lion Island, sometimes during the 2024-2025 summer campaign.
Stating the over reported evidences, maps, pictures and description,  Lion Airfield at 66° 39′ 32″ South, 140° 00′ 53″ East  on Lion Island, on Pointe-Géologie archipelago (Adelie Land), will enter on WAP-WADA Directory as  WAP FRA-NEW.
If/when David FT4YM will operate from there, a WAP reference number will be given.

Finger crossed though and GL to David for a possible activation of this “New One”!
TNX Mehdi F5PFP and David F4FKT/FT4YM

WAP Antarctic Bulletin # 303

HI Folks,

WAP Antarctic Bulletin nr. 3Ø3 of June 6th 2024 edited by Max IK1GPG and Betty IK1QFM is online here on WAP website.

Chasers car read it directly from this spot (Click on 3Ø3 above) or go to the “Antarctic Bulletin” dedicated page  at http://www.waponline.it/wap-antarctic-bulletins/  where you can get all the WAP Bulletins pubblished so far. The 1st WAP Antarctic Bulletin was pubblished 23 years ago,  exactly on 10 febr. 1991!
Thanks for following us, thanks for loving Antarctica as much as we do.

Antarctica: approaching the new season

Not too much to report from Antarctica at this time of the year  The White Continent is actually in the deep winter,  waiting the 2024-2025 Summer Antarctic Campaign.

QSLs from the still active Russian Bases have been printed and are now coming to the chasers, while at Concordia Dome C (WAP MNB-Ø3) the chief of the Base, Gabriele Carugati IU2LXS must be very busy as no one has ever heard him on air.
Since there is no news of  “On Air” activity from Radio Amateurs overwintering in the various all year round Stations , let’s console ourselves with some interesting photographs sent us by our friend David Brunet F4FKT/FT4YM who will be operational again from Antarctica during the next coming summer campaign 2024-2025.

David is now learning CW and I’m sure he will get a chance to operate Morse code as well, even if SSB will remain his best operative mode.

Here below the sites where David did operate from:
Antarctic Campaign 2022-23
FT4YM/P: Base Concordia
FT4YM: Base Dumont d’Urville
FT4YM: Base Robert Guillard – Cap Prud’homme
FT4YM/Mobile: Raid#3-ICORDA 2023

Antarctic Campaign 2021-22
FT4YM/P: Base Concordia , Antarctica
FT4YM/P: Base Little Dome C , Antarctica
VK0/FT4YM/P: Base Casey , Antarctica
IA0/FT4YM/P: Base Mario Zucchelli , Antarctica

While waiting the good time, WAP thanks David for joining us;  we are really pleased to share the good recalls.