A Canadian company that made a high-profile and risky rescue flight to Antarctica 12 years ago is the subject itself of a search and rescue operation in a mountainous area of the continent. The Kenn Borek Air Twin Otter is presumed to have gone down on a flight from the South Pole to an Italian base on the coast. There are three Canadian crew members on board. The aircraft's emergency locator transmitter began broadcasting about 10 p.m. Wednesday and a U.S. C-130 flew over the area but was unable to see anything because of the weather. Heavy snow and winds up to 100 mph are ripping the area. Calgary-based Kenn Borek earned international fame in 2001 when its Twin Otters plucked a critically ill doctor from the South Pole.
The winter flight was unprecedented and was ordered when a doctor at the South Pole station came down with pancreatitis and needed to be evacuated. Two Twin Otters made the risky flight and took off in windy weather that took the wind chill to more than 100 degrees below zero.