A fatal air crash in Antarctica has shocked and saddened the Australian Antarctic community, according to the Director of the Australian Antarctic Division, Dr Tony Fleming.
Dr Fleming said the Twin Otter aircraft, operated by Canadian based Kenn Borek Air, which crashed in the Queen Alexandra Range halfway between the South Pole and McMurdo station had worked with the Australian Antarctic program over the summer season.
“The crew were great friends of the Australian Antarctic program and our expeditioners,” Dr Fleming said.
Accident takes toll
“The air crew were very well respected and had been embraced as part of our Antarctic station communities; we are deeply saddened by their loss.”
He said a couple of the crew had just completed a second year working with the Australian Antarctic Division in performing a vital role supporting science and moving expeditioners between stations during the season.
“I know they loved working with us and we certainly enjoyed and valued their contribution and friendship,” he said.
“Our hearts go out to their families, friends and colleagues at Kenn Borek Air as we share their grief at this time.”
Dr Fleming also flew to Australia’s Wilkins Runway in Antarctica with some of the Antarctic expeditioners who he said were mourning the loss of their friends.