Longtime Alaska bush pilot Art Mortvedt has returned to Fairbanks almost a month after having flown his single-engine "Polar Pumpkin" Cessna solo to the North Pole. It was his third try at flying to the North Pole, a dream he began thinking about after he flew the same plane to the South Pole in 1999, reports KUAC in Fairbanks.
Mortvedt said the ice around the pole itself was buckled and unstable and unsuitable to risk a landing. So, he flew around the pole and set down nearby at Russian Ice Station Barneo, where he spent a few days, waiting for a break in the weather to begin the journey home. ...
But his mission was more than just a flight of fancy. Mortvedt says he set out to demonstrate the practicality of using a single-engine aircraft for polar research – and in the process, to conduct research himself.