McMurdo has an extensive air fleet that is necessary to fly people and cargo to the South Pole, Christchurch, and to the many camps that are set up in Antarctica.
Some places can be reached using a 212 Helicopter, but most require a small plane that can handle the extreme weather conditions and can fly supplies and reach distances that cannot be reached by helicopter.
There is an Air Force and National Guard presence here and I have become friendly with some of the military. Today there was an open house to visit the various planes that are on the runway.
Originally built in 1985, the workhorse of the fleet is the Twin Otter...
The Basler was built in 1942... its internal parts replaced, and it's still a great plane...
The C-130 can go much farther and hold much more cargo. It will be the plane that we take on the 14th to go to the South Pole.
Notice that all of these planes have skis in order to land. All of the landing strips in Antarctica are on ice.
Going back from the airstrip we saw a lost penguin and a few lone seals... Just another day in Antarctica!!