Bad weather at McMurdo and cold temperatures at Pole kept the airplanes away until early morning our time on 11/3 when the comms department finally got some airplane business. Some of us gathered there waiting for the C-130 to take off so Jerry could make the all-call announcement we had not heard in 9 months. Here is what it sounded like (slightly censored)...
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Three hours later there it was (to the left of the flag)
Past marker 7, making the turn...
Taxiing...(this photo and the next from Tadashi Yogi)
Here we are standing there watching it.
More of us watching it.
Here's Bill Spindler watching it...
It was my job to park most of the airplanes (except for some of the fuel flights) and meet the passengers. This was the first time I was doing this in 9 months, and our winter world was about to come to an end. At this moment I looked at the airplane and then over at the rest of us standing by the taxiway. This was one of the strangest and strongest emotional moments of my life, one which I will never forget. Today in New Orleans in 1999 as I look at the photo and type these words, I still feel the emotional impact. Suddenly I had an almost irresistible urge to take off running. If only I could get around behind skylab so I couldn't see the airplane, it would disappear and our "normal" lives would continue. Hmmm. Toast, anyone?
A few days later it was my turn to leave on this one.
Here's Bill K with the sled for carryon baggage.
The flight crew granted us w/o's a photo pass...our last look at what had been our world for many months. Outta here!
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