Wednesday, January 04, 2006
posted 1/04/2006 12:34:00 AM UTC+12, McMurdo Local Time

Another day at the pits

For the most part, things went pretty smoothly today. Think we did 3 skiers and 2 twin otters in the evening. Only hitch was some kind of internal glitch in Skier 96 that forced us to stop halfway through, then restart again something like 45 minutes later. Not sure whether that one was operator error or some kind of mechanical thing, but it really doesn't make any difference to me I suppose.

Since we were getting pretty low on aviation fuel at the pits, Jody and I used the pumps to consolidate what was left out of several of the nearly empty tanks into a couple specific tanks (tanks 1 and 11, which are the two ends of the line) once we were done with fueling planes. Consolidating fuel will make things easier for the morning pits crew tomorrow when we do a transfer from town to fill up the aviation tanks at Willy. Kind of complex reasoning behind that, so I'll spare you the long explanation of how our fuel pits are plumbed, static charges in fuel, and the uncanny ability for airplanes to show up at really bad moments during a transfer.

Some numbers just for fun (all from memory, so don't take them too seriously:)

*Total capacity of one of our aviation tanks at Willy: 20,000 gallons
*Usable capacity: 17,800 gallons (we don't usually drain them to the very bottom)
*Number of aviation tanks at Willy: 11
*Number of aviation tanks at Ice Runway (when it's setup): 6
*Number of aviation tanks at Pegasus: 2
*Weight of a gallon of jet fuel: about 7.1 pounds
*Average amount given to LC-130 during fueling: Something like 6,000 gallons
*Average amount given to Twin Otter during fueling: Something like 300 gallons
*Time to fuel a skier: Roughly half an hour start to finish, but highly variable
*LC-130s fueled at Willy each day: 7-8 usually; ~4 in the morning, ~3 in the evening
*Fuel pumps at Willy: 4, two primary and two backup. All are 4 cylinder diesel powered pumps.
*Number of periodicals in the fuels warmup shack: one metric stack
*Number of interesting periodicals in the fuels warmup shack: 0
*New ANG guy handing you a credit card at the start of fueling: priceless.

Made it back to McMurdo sometime around 10pm and headed up to the fuels barn. Then after filling out paperwork back at the barn I went over to the coffee house, visited with some friends at "Southern Exposure," started some laundry, worked on school stuff, ate midrats, wrote this thing. About to finish with this post, pick up laundry, and finally go to bed!

<< Home