Surviving the solar storms
07 / 03 / 2012
ANY later and it may not have happened – AirBridgeCargo Airlines has operated its first ever cross-polar flight just before scientists issue solar storm warnings.
Scientists at US space agency NASA observed two solar flares, along with two coronal mass ejections, sending massive amounts of energy and charged particles shooting out of the sun. The particles could interfere with flight navigation systems. The storm is expected to last all week.
ABC however operated the flight via the North Pole en route from Chicago (US) to Krasnoyarsk (Russia) without a hitch.
Onboard the 747-400 freighter was a load of 175 Angus-bred heifers (young cows) weighing ? total of 104,000kg. The animals landed safe and sound at Krasnoyarsk Emelyanovo Airport from where they were transported to a local breeding farm.
Cross-polar traffic is subject to zero wind conditions and can face satellite navigation system errors, radiation hazards and disrupted radio contact. Given these challenges, ABC chose one of its most experienced pilots for the operation.
“This route allows for savings in both time and fuel consumption and we do hope that it will be popular with our customers,” Tatyana Arslanova, AirBridgeCargo Airlines’ executive president, comments.