Diamond Hunters Stole Our Helicopter!
KANGERLUSSUAQ, GREENLAND– A Canadian resource exploration company, Hudson Resources Inc., has been searching for diamonds in Greenland for years. Unfortunately, they found some not far from Kangerlussuaq. This is a big problem for scientists who had planned on chartering helicopter time to conduct their research. There is only one helicopter in Kangerlussuaq this summer and it has been effectively grounded by the diamond company, leaving scientists and logistics coordinators to frantically rearrange their field plans.
We were scheduled to use the helicopter (for less than one hour!) to bring our field equipment into our study sites. Hudson Resources said NO (repeatedly) while the helicopter sat unused in the airport hangar for days at a time. Nobody is quite sure why Hudson was willing to pay to keep the helicopter grounded rather than letting scientists pick up part of the tab. The helicopter grounding has once again proven that flexibility is key to a successful field season in Greenland. Check out this video to see how we managed to get all our science and camp gear out to our sites.
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Thanks to Jonathan Nichols for the footage from our 2006 coring trip of the helicopter taking off from an ice-covered lake.