Pegasus Field

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Pegasus Field
Pegasus Field runway.jpg
White ice runway at Pegasus Field
Summary
Location McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica
Elevation AMSL 18 ft / 5 m
Coordinates 77°57′48″S 166°31′28″E / 77.96333°S 166.52444°E / -77.96333; 166.52444Coordinates: 77°57′48″S 166°31′28″E / 77.96333°S 166.52444°E / -77.96333; 166.52444
Map
NZPG is located in Antarctica
NZPG
NZPG
Location of airfield in Antarctica
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
15/33 10,000 3,048 Ice
08/26 10,000 3,048 Ice

Pegasus Field (ICAO: NZPG) was an airstrip in Antarctica, the southernmost of three airfields serving McMurdo Station. It closed due to excessive melting in the summer season caused by warmer temperatures combined with dust and dirt blown in from nearby Black Island. The last flight was on December 8, 2016[4] and it was replaced by Phoenix Airfield (ICAO: NZFX)[5][6][7] with flights expected to start in February 2017.[6]

Pegasus was originally conceived as a blue ice runway capable of handling wheeled aircraft year-round, but as it was developed, it was enhanced with a 4-inch layer of compacted snow on top—thus more properly characterizing it as a white ice runway. [8] Other local runways are the snow runways at Williams Field (ICAO: NZWD) that are limited to ski-equipped aircraft, and the Ice Runway (ICAO: NZIR) on the sea-ice available during the summer Antarctic field season.

The field was named after Pegasus, a C-121 Lockheed Constellation, still visible there in the snow after crashing in bad weather on October 8, 1970. No one on board was injured.

On September 11, 2008, a United States Air Force C-17 Globemaster III successfully completed the first landing in Antarctica using night-vision goggles at Pegasus Field.[9] Previously air transport in the permanent darkness of the winter was only used in emergencies, with burning barrels of fuel to outline the runway.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Airport information for NZPG at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ Airport information for NZPG at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
  3. ^ USAP.gov US Antarctic Program Inter-agency Air Operations Manual
  4. ^ NZDF Airlift Missions Renew Lifeline For Scientists In Antarctica
  5. ^ http://www.gcmap.com/airport/NZFX
  6. ^ a b US Antarctic Program Inter-agency Air Operations Manual – United States Antarctic Program
  7. ^ "A New Runway for McMurdo Station is Named". National Science Foundation. 7 April 2016. 
  8. ^ Wallwork, Ellery D. (October 2006). "Operation Deep Freeze—50 Years of Air Force Airlift in Antarctica 1956–2006 (page 265)" (PDF). 
  9. ^ Rejcek, Peter (September 26, 2008). "Air Force successfully tests new capability to fly any time of year to McMurdo". Antarctic Sun. 

External links[edit]