Daring Antarctic Rescue Honored by Smithsonian

Calgary crews honoured for plucking sick workers from South Pole amid blizzards and –60 C temperatures

The Canadian flight crews who rescued two sick workers from the South Pole in an “audacious” operation amid blizzards and –60 C temperatures have been honored with a Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Trophy for outstanding achievement.

In June 2016, the Calgary-based Kenn Borek Air team flew two Twin Otter aircraft from Calgary to Chile, a journey of 12,500 km in 45 hours. After a delay due to bad weather, they then made the perilous 1,600-km journey to Rothera, Antarctica.

One plane then traveled another 2,400 kilometres to the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Amundsen-Scott Research station at the South Pole to pick up two people who needed to be taken to hospital.

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