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Record Breaking Pilot Lands First Airbus A340 in Antarctica

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Record Breaking Pilot Lands First Airbus A340 in Antarctica

For the first time ever, an airbus A340 has landed on Antarctica's icy terrain. Take a look at the historic moment unfold below:

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Pilot Carlos Mirpuri and his crew of specialist airline Hi Fly made the 2,800-mile journey from Cape Town, South Africa, which took just over five hours and was the result of months of preparation. Not your typical day in the office, then.

He spoke of it being 'a long day for the crew', but that the anticipation of being involved in 'such a unique event' outweighed anything else.

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The aircraft was chartered by Wolf's Fang, a luxury holiday resort that has recently been founded in the South Pole.

The crew had the important job of delivering much-needed supplies to the camp for its customers.

The momentous occasion brought attention and anxiety, despite thorough preparations. However, Pilot Mirpuri was assured that they had done their homework.

Credit: Hi Fly / Speedstream Films
Credit: Hi Fly / Speedstream Films
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In order to land the aircraft, grooves had to be carved into the 10,000ft runway that is also nearly a mile thick.

This gave the A340 enough grip to land with no problems, despite its colossal weight. Reportedly, the cooler the weather, the easier it is to land.

On the aircraft, the Captain said: "It is an airplane that delivers, every time. Robust, comfortable and safe, performs well in this environment."

Pilot Mirpuri also spoke of the 'immense white desert' he was confronted with when arriving near the landing strip. The runway blended in with the surrounding terrain, making their descent particularly challenging.

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However, it all went to plan, as he reported: "We flew a textbook approach to an uneventful landing, and aircraft performed exactly as planned.

Credit: Hi Fly / Speedstream Films
Credit: Hi Fly / Speedstream Films

"When we reached taxi speed, I could hear a round of applause from the cabin. We were joyful.

"After all, we were writing history."

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Following their successful landing, the turnaround took less time than originally planned, with the Captain reporting this as down to a 'true winning team', with them all doing an 'impeccable job'.

Due to their groundbreaking achievements, the aircraft can now be chartered to fly a small group of tourists to this fresh holiday destination, alongside scientists and essential cargo.

Presently, there are no airports anywhere in Antarctica. However, around 50 smaller runways are used by those needing to visit the continent, such as researchers and other visitors.

Perhaps this will be the start of Antarctica becoming a hot new tourist destination?

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Overall, I think we can all agree on a job well done!

Featured Image Credit: Hi Fly / Speedstream Films

Topics: World News, Antarctica

Abigail Murray
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