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C-17 makes air drop over the South Pole
Photos Credit: Bill McAfee

Test run

Air Force makes air drop over South Pole for training exercise

A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III from McChord Air Force Base External U.S. government site in Washington State drops cargo over the South Pole Station External U.S. government site on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 (local time). The cargo plane dropped 16 bundles (inset), mainly of dry food. The flight originated from Christchurch, New Zealand, and returned there directly after making the cargo drop. The plane was about 1,000 feet off the ground during the operation. The South Pole, home to more than 250 people during the austral summer, is about 9,300 feet in elevation. Most cargo and fuel are transported by smaller LC-130 planes flown by the New York Air National Guard External U.S. government site — which take the time to land — and cargo tractor trains. This was the fourth air drop in as many years.