John Kerry lands in Antarctica, becomes the highest US official to visit

Kerry and his entourage left the Christchurch airport at 6 am aboard a C-17 Globemaster military cargo plane and landed in Antarctica about 11 am.

Mcmurdo Station | Published:November 11, 2016 10:21 am
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to board his US Air Force C-17 flight to Antarctica at Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Ralston/Pool U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to board his US Air Force C-17 flight to Antarctica at Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Ralston/Pool

US Secretary of State John Kerry became the highest-ranking American official to land in Antarctica for a two-day visit during which he’ll hear from scientists about the impact of climate change on the frozen continent. Kerry left Friday from New Zealand after being held up for about a day by bad weather. Kerry and his entourage left the Christchurch airport at 6 am aboard a C-17 Globemaster military cargo plane and landed in Antarctica about 11 am.

Kerry is an experienced pilot. He spent much of the flight in the cockpit of the huge jet, chatting with the pilots. After a smooth trip of about five hours, the group landed on the Pegasus Ice Runway, the strip of ice that serves McMurdo. The base is the hub for US operations.