Photo of the Day – Lockheed C-121J Super Constellation resting at Antarctica

Photo via Flickr – by sandwichgirl

tail of super constellellation

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On 8 October 1970, this US Navy C-121J Super Constellation (131644/4145) called “Pegasus” crashed into an airfield near McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The flight bound from Christchurch (CHC), New Zealand, to McMurdo Station-Williams Field, Antarctica got into storm blown in from the south that completely eliminated visibility. The flight had already passed PSR (Point of Safe Return), therefore they had no other choice than trying to land, due to lack of fuel to turn around. After circling the runway without getting a visual, they caught a quick glimpse and tried to land. On the second attempt to land the “Connie” was sliding into a heavy snowdrift caused by the storm, separating the right main landing gear. The plane spinned around and the right wing broke off, with the airplane sliding through the snow. Nobody died. Half buried in snow, with a vandalised tail proudly stading high, this piece of history has now become a bit of a local tourist attraction.
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4 thoughts on “Photo of the Day – Lockheed C-121J Super Constellation resting at Antarctica”

  1. I had flown on this aircraft twice before while serving with the U.S.N. Seabees enroute to Williams (Willey) Field. This year my friends were on this flight while I was safely in the
    Republic of Vietnam for my last tour. I received letters from friends telling me about this “adventure”.

  2. I was an Aircraft Commander of the Phoenix, also a C121J attached to VXE-6 for Deep Freeze ’68 and ’69. First on the ice runway both deployments and last off the soft ice runway both deployments. Some rotten weather but then again I learned how to make a radar approach using the a/c radar and the 55 gallon drums planted on the ice lined up with the ice runway. I had an enjoyable tour.

  3. mr.Gilliamser, I wintered in 68 69 and flew with phoenix back to Christchurch around oct of 69 I believe it was the first or second flight you could have been my pilot a welcome sight thanks for the ride, I was attached to the galley and in charge of food opoerations as a cs1. i RETIRED IN 1983.

  4. Mr. Prevento,
    If you were on the first Connie back to Christchurch after wintering over, I had the distinct pleasure of having you aboard. I hope your flight was memorable and the landing was soft.