JATO bottle

Paul Whiteman:

Re Mike Dixon's photo and the question about the JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) bottle. This was left over from the C-130 flight to put Pete Clarkson et al. into the Shackletons in 1968. I was onboard, having cadged a lift at McMurdo, and the JATO bottles were to be used if the snow conditions were bad. We had, I think, at least ten on board - two for Halley, two for Shackletons, two for Pole plus at least two spares. The dogs didn't like the sound of the JATO at all and lay down with their ears back terrified. The landing at the Shackletons was rough!! The dogs finished up in a snarling fighting heap at the front with the everyone hanging off any available point to get clear. The nose bulkhead was ruptured so we had to fly back to McMurdo un-pressurised. They forgot to load any food so all we had to eat all day - and it was a long day McM to McM - were tinned peaches; haven't been able to face another one since. There were at least two other C-130 flights into Halley after that and the bottles could well have been swapped out. As an aside it used to be used as an ashtray in the lounge until a visiting aircrew member pointed out that it was still live!! [2 April 2014]

John Carter:

In regards to the JATO bottle, this was dropped from a C130 Hercules, which evacuated Dr John Brotherhood after a man hauling accident at one of the creeks, I think it was 3rd Chip*. His man-hauling companion was Jim Shirtcliffe. [11 April 2014]

* Brotherhood recalls it being Mobster Creek.

[See also comments by Bob Wells]

30 Dec 2014
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