Welcome Home Perlan2 and Muchas Gracias

Nov 7, 2018 | Blog

On November 2 after 12,700 miles over 45 days of travel the Perlan 2 arrived back home in Minden, Nevada. Each journey is unique in its logistical challenges. Sometimes the obstacles are paperwork, or insurance, or connections, or a blizzard closing Andes mountain roads, or a port slow-down, or a winter storm closing a port. We’ve overcome all of these situations before. This trip had its share with a hurricane near Mexico which impacted our shipping schedule. But when our container arrived as the sun crested the Minden mountains, Jim quickly determined that all looked ok inside the container at first opening.

Kelly Connolly brought their spare crane to make our delivery schedule with Doudell/Diamond Trucking. In less than an hour these pros had the Perlan container on the ground.  Stewart Tattersall, Alan and Reba Coombs, Tom Stowers, Jim and I helped unload the sides of the container enough to pull the trailer out. Notice that the fenders are off the wheels as we don’t even have those extra inches of width to spare. It was a delight to pull the Perlan 2 trailer into Dennis Tito’s hangar and declare Airbus Perlan Mission II – Campaign 2018 a complete success. Three world record claims, enormous amount of science data, and stronger Argentine support than ever before.

We could not make this unqualified success happen without an immense amount of support from across Argentina. The following Argentine list is as complete as I can make it, but my apologies in advance for any omissions. For necessary paperwork for importation and a NOTAM for flying – thanks to CNVVM. For importation – thanks to Caliri Studio and Hartrodt. For trucking throughout Argentina – thanks to Tribal Trucking. For a spacious heated hangar and even warmer hospitality – thanks to AeroClub Largo Argentino. For our home away from home in El Calafate – thanks to Santa Monica Cabins and LaTorre apartments. In Buenos Aires – thanks to L’Hotel Palermo. For rental cars ready for winter driving conditions – thanks to ServiCar. For helping any team member who was ill – thanks to El Calafate Hospital.

At the airport itself, thanks to ANAC (like FAA), El Calafate Tower, EANA (like ATC), London Supply (operates the airport), PSA (security), Bomberos (Fire Department), Gendarmeria (Border Guards), Cafeteria (for hot lunches), and Intercargo (maintenance). Also the city administration of El Calafate, LADE (sponsors), Argentina Air Force, Naval Prefactura (like Coast Guard), Glacier National Park, Cordo Crane and Suavicito Laundry (20 folks for 2 months, I’m just saying…). Thanks to all the restaurants in El Calafate where we brought a party of 20-30 on very short notice to celebrate world records, or “Hail and Farewell” to team mates with multiple visits to La Tablita, Don Pichon, and Isabel. Thanks to Oxygeno Patagonia for our various gas needs and Sancor Seguros and AlbaCaucion provided our Argentina insurance coverage. Thanks to Aerolineas for flying the entire team and personal luggage for two months to El Calafate. They didn’t lose a single thing! And finally a huge thank you to Tago DePietro our Logistics coordinator for all things in Argentina.

The story goes if you eat the calafate berry you will return to El Calafate town. The entire team repeatedly ate calafate ice cream, calafate/malbec sauce on the lamb, calafate jam, and calafate liquor chocolates. See you in 2019!!!  Perlan Soars High, Jackie

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