Friday, December 23, 2011

The Night Shift

"What's the Night Shift in the Shuttles Dept at McMurdo like?" 
Not sure how much I have talked about what exactly I do on the night shift, so here goes.

Currently I work 5pm to 5am, which means I have to be there about 4:30pm to get my assignment, start and warm up my vehicle, get my log, sign and radio, check the current road conditions, collect my ECW gear, etc. before I depart for DJ (Derelict  Junction), the pick up point for trips to the Ice runway (C-17's) and Skiway (LC-130's) at Pegasus.

Generally, I have been making 3 round trip Pegasus runs every shift, taking 2.5 to 3 hours each time.  It's about 16 miles each way and depending on road conditions and what vehicle we are driving, we go between 5 and 25 mph (the MAX speed limit is 25 under ideal conditions).  For example, vans go faster than Delta's.

Between trips, we do vehicle maintenance checks, complete paperwork, clean the offices, update the flight mission board and vehicle allocation board, do chores and keep the place organized to some degree.

Sometimes instead of a run to Pegasus, I will dispatch for 3-4 hours, which I enjoy more than I thought I would.  It fits my need to keep things organized personality.  The night shift is a bit calmer than the days as there are no taxi runs, less phone and radio traffic and generally fewer work shifts going on.  The C-17 flights from Christchurch arrive during the night shift which creates a huge workload, but we're all here to support science no matter the time of day or night.

I will transition back to days in early January for the rest of the season, thru late February. 

Elisha and Spring (new word: Plegasus )

The new experimental UAV.

The once new UAV crashed on landing.

It's broke!

Jen, Trish, Spring & Fran hanging out in the Shuttles office.

Dan, Fran and Mike. 

Fran, Matt, Jen, Dan & Cassa.

Kat & Jen.

Office cubbies with our ECW gear.

Sharona - The Boss, Jen - Senior and Night shift Supervisor & Spring - the Junior Senior.

Fueling a Delta.  Fueling the vehicles is a part of the night shift job tasks.

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