Saturday, January 21, 2017

Flying Bariloche, Argentina to Santiago, Chile (by Jack)

January 21, 2017

After a beautiful stay in Bariloche (including a nice day outdoors hosted by the Nature Conservancy), today we conducted the shortest flight of the whole trip from Bariloche (SAZS) to Santiago, Chile (SCEL).

While the trip was short, it was fairly indirect as we had to cross the very high Andes (peaks above 21,000 FT just east of Santiago) with enough distance to descend to airport at 1,500 FT. Since the airport was landing to the south, we had to fly considerably north of the airport before turning west to cross the Andes.


Unlike the prior flight along the Andes, this day provided mostly clear skies to the south and only partly cloudy to the north allowing some impressive views.

Departing Bariloche...this was the lake we cruised on the previous day...



Cruising past Santiago on the east side of the Andes before turning west for the descent...



Some big mountains to cross...note the 21,600 FT maximum terrain height within 40 NM shown in the lower right hand corner of the EGPWS display...


Turning west to cross the Andes north of Santiago...


Some impressive valleys on the west side of the Andes north of Santiago as we begin our descent to the airport...


Once below about 15,000 FT, the air became very hazy due to major fires south of of Santiago. While it was technically VFR, we flew the ILS appraaoch all the way to a final of a few miles before seeing the runway. Reminded us of Accra, Ghana.

Once we landed, a "follow me" vehicle guided us through a very complicated taxi route to the FBO...


The FBO (a real FBO like back home) was Aerocardal, the company that helped us get the Chilean permits for Antarctica and arranged fuel and other logistics at Marsh airport on King George Island. Aerocardal is also and Cirrus and Pilatus service center.


We cleared customs and immigration right at the FBO which was very convenient. Jerry met us on the ramp and we got a final photo of the whole Antarctic flight crew in uniform...


We had been having an intermittent caution indication regarding the prop heat, so after unloading, Jerry and Josh took some time to clean the electrical contacts between the plane and the prop which sometimes clears up this issue. Giuseppe made an entertaining video of the process. Jerry and Josh may form an aviation comedy act...

https://youtu.be/YSmcTMk_5bw


We have two nights scheduled in Santiago with another outing hosted by the Nature Conservancy tomorrow. So everyone will get a chance for R&R before blasting-off on the final "sprint" for home.