What’s the easiest way to get a nicely centered picture of an approaching airplane on the ice at the South Pole? Have it taxi straight toward you. The photo above shows the last Herc of the season to arrive at the Pole, just as it came to a stop, while the photo below shows IceCube winterover Erik beforehand as he steered the plane into position. You can also see a tiny Erik in the lower right of the following image of the same plane landing.
When it departed, the plane did a farewell flyby, then climbed sharply into the blue sky, leaving an impressive vapor trail behind it. This week, with daylight still available, the winterover team began focusing on preparing things for the winter—everything from winterizing vehicles, closing up outbuildings, pulling in supplies, and setting up flag lines.