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VIDEO: C17 Globemaster takes off for Antarctica

Thursday 15 Aug 2013 11:00 a.m.

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The first flight between New Zealand and Antarctica in months took off from Christchurch Airport this morning. 

The United States Air Force C17 Globemaster is carrying bags of mail, fresh fruit and vegetables to an 'overwinter' crew, who won't have tasted veggies in five months.

Flights are usually suspended over the winter months, as light and weather conditions make it extremely hazardous to fly and land in the frozen continent.

The overwinter crew, a team of 10 Antarctica NZ staffers and five Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators, have been isolated at New Zealand's Scott Base and the United States' McMurdo Station since March.

They've seen some seriously cold temperatures, with Scott Base recording minus 35.7degC in April – that's minus 52degC taking into account the wind chill.

A second cargo flight is due to leave Christchurch on Saturday before regular spring and summer trips resume at the end of September.

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