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A panorama of the resting site

The Antarctic Crash of C-121 Lockheed Constellation “Pegasus”

A short distance from McMurdo station, on the McMurdo Ice Shelf lies the wreckage of the C-121 Lockheed Constellation “Pegasus”, from which the Pegasus Airfield gets its name. During my stay in McMurdo, I had the opportunity to travel to the resting place of the aircraft to investigate.

Background, From AbandonedPlaygrounds.com:

On October 8, 1970, the Lockheed Constellation ‘Pegasus’ crashed, due to very low visibility landing conditions. Nobody was hurt or wounded except for the propeller driven airliner built by the Lockheed Corporation. This aircraft was 1 in 856 and powered by 4 18-cylinder radial Wright R-3350 engines and distinguished by a triple-tail design and dolphin-shaped fuselage. This type of plane was the presidential aircraft for U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The ice landing strip was then named Pegasus White Ice Runway, and the landing field, Pegasus Field, in honour of the aircraft.

The Pegasus remains there to this day, buried beneath snow and residing alone in this Antarctic Sound. The Lockheed Constellation does get many visitors for a plane in the Antarctic and often gets parts of it dug out for pictures. There are photographs that display the flying orange Pegasus that is detailed on the side of the aircraft, but it must be dug out to be seen.

The remaining tailpiece, with peoples initials carved all over it. The de-icing gear is still there too.
The remaining tailpiece, with peoples initials carved all over it. The de-icing gear is still there too.
Although most of the plan is under the ice, there's still a bit to check out, and the skin seems to be in good condition, considering the harsh elements.
Although most of the plan is under the ice, there’s still a bit to check out, and the skin seems to be in good condition, considering the harsh elements.
A panorama of the resting site
A panorama of the resting site
Over the years, the aircraft has been slowly covered in snow and ice.
Over the years, the aircraft has been slowly covered in snow and ice.
Hiking across the ice shelf to the crash site of the Pegasus
Hiking across the ice shelf to the crash site of the Pegasus

DSC00860-2014-12-10 Downed Pegasus-Donenfeld-1600-WM

DSC00853-2014-12-10 Downed Pegasus-Donenfeld-1600-WM

One comment

  1. Jason W. Saunders says:

    My father was on this plane when it went down his name is AN Alphonzo Saunders he ws very instrumental in helping save the lives of the passengers. He would like to talk to Karl Cook and any other of his co-workers that he was stationed in Antartica with back in the late 60s early 70s.

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