A recently completed trip to South America reaching Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego (southern most city in the world). We also flew across the South Atlantic Ocean to the Falkland/Malvinas islands.
From Buenos Aires, Argentina departed leading a five-small plane expedition. Traveling southwest to avoid a major stationary Low Pressure center along the Atlantic coast that was reaching half way to southern Patagonia. Wonderful sights were observed across the Pampas flying at a low level to avoid strong westerly headwinds. Landing in the southern Andes at Bariloche before crossing desolate Patagonia southeast watching spectacular geology and many indigenous animals including ostriches and guanacos (a camel/lama like animal). The other planes joined in the expedition while heading south across Magellan’s Straight and along the Beagle Canal landing at Ushuaia which is beautiful and quite similar to coastal Alaska. Unfortunately one of the planes had a cylinder failure but made a successful emergency landing near the oil rich region of Comodoro Rivadavia.
From Ushuaia, we crossed a 400 Nautical Mile stretch of South Atlantic Ocean landing at Port Stanley, Falkland/Malvinas Islands. We only encountered a minimum of Instrument Meteorological Conditions during the crossing with some tailwinds. This dominion of the UK is like a land that time forgot in which 2000 inhabitants still live in Victorian times. There are, however, British troops to deter another Argentine invasion and these are NOT allowed to mix with the local population or to depart the military base where they are confined. Principal revenues of the islanders come from fishing rights and they collect about 50 million pounds Sterling from this activity per year. Living standards are high but it is an expensive place to live also. The second most important economy is tourism (they receive about 30,000 visitors per year, mainly by ship) and after that is the export of sheep wool. There are still many minefields remaining from the 1982 war and several aircraft wrecks also. The island is also littered with shipwrecks from the past 200 years, mostly before the Panama Canal opened and traffic around Cape Horn was prevalent.
The remainder of the flights returned successfully but it took us 50% longer to cross back to the mainland due to headwinds. On the way back to Buenos Aires we did some great coastal sightseeing along the Atlantic Ocean, which included documenting dolphins, whales, sea lions and elephant lions.
We also stopped at the main Argentine Naval Base and received a VIP tour of its naval aviation.
We covered 3500 Nautical Miles by the time we returned to BA in 10 days of travel.
Click HERE for the full trip log.
To watch a theatrical trailer of the trip click VIDEO.
(send me a message if you want to see the entire videos produced by Oak Canyon Studios)
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