Because of the remote locations of scientific research in Antarctica, and the often difficult and dangerous terrain between the bases and those locations, helicopters are a highly suitable way of travelling around Antarctica.
Helicopters allow researchers to visit remote places and transport specialised equipment that would otherwise be impossible. When using helo transport, there are a number of requirements for safe travel. One important requirement is all cargo must be weighed on accurate scales, in pounds (or converted from kg) and each item labelled with the weight, owner’s name, and whether the item must not be frozen/kept frozen and the destination. A list of items, their description, weight and destination is sent to helicopter operations (helo ops) at McMurdo Station at least 24 hours before the intended departure. This information must also include the weight of the researchers wearing their Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) clothing, and personal bags. Weighing the cargo is important to ensure the correct helicopter is used to be able to lift the cargo to the destination safely.
Bell 212 Stats File
Crew: 1 Pilot
Passengers: 13 (8 plus cargo)
Lifting Capacity: 820kg (907kg underslung)
Powerplant: 2 Pratt and Whitney PT6-3B engines of 1,025 S.H.P. each
Cruising Speed: 186 kmh
Range: 277.8km (4.5 hrs)