Flying to the Frozen Continent

Choosing to fly commercially to Antarctica rather than sail across the infamous Drake Passage, Andrew Pearce describes the first part of his epic journey via a detour of discovery to Easter Island in the South Pacific.

On a cold and dark evening in early January I found myself at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 C gates looking out of the window at the illuminated airfield. My aircraft for the journey ahead, a British Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, G-ZBKN (c/n 38630), had arrived from Beijing just a few hours earlier and the twin jet was being prepared and loaded ready for its next flight to the Chilean capital, Santiago. This was to be the first sector of a journey which would eventually lead to a landing at Teniente Rodolfo Marsh Airport on King George Island in the South Shetland Islands.


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