Ushuaia had many important meanings.

I always had in my mind that getting into there would have me relaxing quite a lot: Antarctica was a big thing to overcome !

Also it was the meeting point with my wife Paula. I do know that it has not been easy for her.


Michel and Paula

Some women say..¨if that is what you want to do, do it, my love¨

But when you are going to do it, it is not easy for them. If finally you do it….it is even worse.

So there I was, tired and somehow confused. So many things in my mind !

I just need to rest, it was a matter of time.

Carlos arrived upon my landing and since that very moment, he took care of everything.


Michel and Carlos

Immigration, Customs, everything was a breeze, and soon, I had my dear RV parked in the Government Hangar.

Soon Jorge Lopez, Antarctica representative, arrived and drove me into the hotel.

I was able to finally enjoy the moment, but full relaxing was going to take time.

Next day, Paula arrived: it was a very nice moment, after so intense days.

The stay at Ushuaia had as main purpose to have rest, some visiting, plenty of King Crab and asados, and even visiting the beautiful Perito Moreno Glacier.

Nuria, the Spanish Vice-consul, also met me, to know about what has happened in Antarctica and to have the Spanish government informed.

That ¨official¨ meeting soon turned into a more close one. It was nice to meet also her husband Patricio ¨Pato¨, who loves Antarctica and photography (big thank you, Pato and Nuria!)

So those days were really nice ones.

Back from Perito Moreno, it was time for Paula to leave, and also for myself. I planned to depart the same day, but weather was awful. It was like having a big ice cream overhead, and you do know what happens if and aircraft like my RV enters an ice cream !

Again relaying on Windytv weather, I decided to depart the 20th.

That allowed also for another meeting with Jorge Lopez who had news about Buenos Aires, about the USA and BAS, relative to the flight. Jorge is really involved and I really appreciate his help and feelings.


Meeting with Antarctic Representatives

I really wish that this flight could change something about Antarctica operations: it should be mandatory for all the operators that use a runway, to provide support to all the scientific projects.

Also it should be mandatory to comply with he Antarctic Treaty. Lucrative activities should be banned !

Carlos was always there, next to us, to help, to give support, to offer kindness and a peace feeling. What a nice guy, indeed !

World would be much better if there was more people like Carlos !

Carlos: Paula and myself are really grateful ! Big thank you !

0830 L was the time Carlos was picking me up from the hotel. The airport is just 10 minutes away, and the desired take off time was 1000 local.

Weather, as predicted. Even big areas of blue skies were overhead: it was going to be a beautiful day.

Flight plan, customs, fees and soon, we were at the hangar.

The airplane was refuelled the day before. We got the avgas from the next Ushuaia Aeroclub and had some chat with the pilots there.

Everything was ready, so I donned to survival dry suit and hug Carlos.

Soon the engine came alive. It was a special feeling after so many days.

Cleared to taxi into runway 25, back track and take off from the 1500 meters panel.

Again my dear RV was light and soon I was up in the air.

Carlos was down there, next to the hangar. I rocked the wings, and turned left to reach altitude and cross the close beautiful mountains. Reached very fast the 6500 ft and was on top of the broken clouds.

The view was impressive!

All the Controllers along the flight have been very nice, so that helped a lot.

Finally I was able to relax and enjoy with my eyes.

First, the mountains. Next the Magallanes Straight.


Magellanes Straight

I tried to imagine Magallanes down there, exploring the new world. Trying to find his way with his ship, without maps or any information. Those explorers and adventurers were really incredible !

Then I entered the Patagonia flats lands.

Flat is flat but all flats are not the same.

Those lands offers many small secrets, hidden ones, wonderful ones. I was able to relax and enjoy. For those wanting to experience Patagonia for themselves, you could book to go on one of the patagonia tours by this company.



I mainly followed the coast line. Really I avoid overwater if it is not necessary to be there. I prefer to have a chance to save my RV and overwater denies that chance. Also water is cold !!!

Some rivers had an incredible blue color. Some places were almost black, like lava. Sometimes, there was a home in the middle of nowhere. Not even a road led into that home.


Blue River

So the mind start working and even I think so strange things that better not to tell if I want my medical to be renewed !


White Lake, Blue Lake??


Patagonian Volcanoes


The land is going Crazy


More crazy land


Some 3,5 hours after take off, I was overhead 13 de Diciembre airfield. My software didn´t provide any frequency there, so I was not sure about would i find.

Best thing, of course is to flight just overhead. That way it is easier to avoid aircrafts landing or taking off.

I was tempted for a low pass, but…i didn´t.

First contact was with a …shadow !!!

I saw the shadow on the ground, not the airplane itself. Then I saw the airplane that has just taken off.

I turned downwind and saw another traffic in final…

No frequency??? Something was wrong.

I kept using the nearby Comodoro Rivadavia airport one ( as it happened at Hobart) and provided my position downwind, base and final.

Landing was, again, not a good one. The airplane was not easy to control and I felt the need to stop it soon. When it stopped, I was unable to taxi. Left main landing gear was glued into the runway, I was unable to taxi, even with a lot of power. Just able to turn and turn and turn.

So I stopped the engine. Not a good feeling in the middle of a runway !

I thought that the left wheel did blow out, but when I checked it, it was ok.

Mmmmmmmhhh, might be a brake problem !

I returned into the cockpit and discovered that the parking brake lever had moved into parked position !

That lever is not in view, and may be I have moved it with my knee. So now, I have a new item to be checked before landing !

I have been very very lucky not to have cartwheeled!

When I reached the apron, I was received by plenty of local pilots and experimental builders. Again a big welcome !

And please, use 123,5 , it is the standard frequency for uncontrolled airfields…:)


skypolarisadmin / Nov 21, 2016 2:18 am / Reply

Great report and photos Michel! Yes, having the parking brake on landing is not a good thing, except for very short landings. I am so glad you did not cartwheel or even spin out.

Get more rest and some relaxation. You still have many more long flights before Madrid!

Schneider_p / Nov 21, 2016 9:07 am / Reply

Wonderful story of necessary recovery from the strain of a great achievement! Very nice people down there! I’m sure that will continue in Argentina!

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