The Antarctic continent - picture 50 of 60
© by Alexander Gerst 2002
The arrival on the plateau is very abrupt. Because the offload of the cargo would take too long with conventional means, the US Air Force pilots make use of the so called "combat offload": shortly after the plane has touched down on the ice, the tail ramp opens, and the whole cargo gets discharged down the ramp before dropping about half a metre on the moving ice. We were lucky, since our precious earthquake sensors and my bottle of italian Ramazotti liqueur were not damaged in this manoeuvre. The picture shows the last cargo palettes shortly after dropping out the back of the plane.
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