No one was injured when the Lockheed Constellation ‘Pegasus’ crash landed onto the icy fields of Antarctica on October 8, 1970. The ill-fated flight had run into a storm and was forced to crash land in impossible weather conditions. Where the aircraft dramatically slid to a halt nearly 35 years ago is the exact same position it lies today, half-buried in snow.
Image (c) Polar.Mike
Noel Gillespie describes the Pegasus’ last moments in the air…
“I remember watching with absolute horror, the No. 4 propeller spinning off the engine. Moments later No. 4 engine ripped off it’s mount, as if by some giant hand followed by No. 3 propeller then No. 3 engine then the entire right wing. While I recall it in slow motion, I doubt that the whole chain of events took more than a few seconds … A very eerie temporary silence ensued. Hardly a word was spoken on the flight deck. Seconds later we started a rapid evacuation on the left side of the aircraft, putting all our endless hours of emergency training to work. It was only a half a mile from the aircraft parking and cargo staging area, but it took over three hours for anyone to locate the crashed aircraft. It was only a half a mile from the aircraft parking and cargo staging area, but it took over three hours for anyone to locate the crashed aircraft.”
–The Last Flight South by the Flying Horse Pegasus
The ice landing strip where the plane crashed was later named Pegasus White Ice Runway, and the landing field, Pegasus Field, in honour of the fallen aircraft. It has become a must-see stop for Antarctica adventurers eager to engrave their initials into the plane.
“At different times of the year due to wind and temperature more or less of the plane is exposed. I borrowed some pictures from others to show more of the plane”, writes Bill Morris who visited the wreck in 2011. Despite the harsh conditions of its resting place after all these years, Bill assures that the Pegasus is being perfectly preserved in the ice…
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