The classroom suddenly turns dark at the daily debrief in the morning. The power is off. That does not happen often but every now and then. There is a coal power plant at the edge of Longyear which supplies all houses with electricity and heat. Extra heating stations are distributed over the village to help out in such cases. An airlift evacuation is planned in case of a serious emergency. We help ourselves with flashlights and chalk.

The rescue helicopter is doing exercises with the winch over the apron while we await the return of the last commercial aircraft.


Our hangar was formerly used by Aeroflot. There are still boxes with Cyrillic letters standing around. A huge and noisy compressor makes each stay a little uncomfortable. It hisses constantly and turns on with a lot of drama every few minutes.


We head to the beach to fly ovals over the fjord and the ground north of the airport. The plane measures 70% relative humidity. This is not much in absolute amounts, only about 15% at room temperature in the buildings. It makes you want to drink constantly. The skin is dry and rough. The aircraft thrower must be careful that the fuselage does not slip through his (bare) hands during launch. The plane flies one track after the other without any issue.