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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 11:42 GMT
Adventurer stranded in Antarctica
The first person to fly a home-built single-engine plane over the South Pole has got stranded in Antarctica.

Australian Jon Johanson was forced to land his RV-4 plane at a US base when it ran short of fuel.

But both the Americans and a nearby New Zealand base refuse to give him the fuel, saying they do not want to encourage tourism in the Antarctic.

Mr Johanson flew over the South Pole after travelling 5,880 km in just over 24 hours from New Zealand.

The US actually don't run a gas station in Antarctica... and nor does New Zealand
Lou Sanson, Antarctica New Zealand CEO
The adventurer had planned to continue to Argentina, but strong headwinds ate into his fuel reserves.

This forced Mr Johanson to land on Tuesday at the US McMurdo base, just a few kilometres from New Zealand's Scott base, to ask for more fuel.

But both bases refused to provide him with the required 400 litres (104 gallons) to return to New Zealand.

"The US actually don't run a gas station in Antarctica... and nor does New Zealand," Antarctica New Zealand Chief Executive Lou Sanson told the Associated Press news agency.

He is stuck there
Mr Johanson's partner, Sue Ball
"He appears to have gone in there without a search and rescue plan and without a contingency plan if things go wrong, and he's expecting the New Zealand and United States Governments to pick up and be his contingency," Mr Sanson added.

He said the Americans provided Mr Johanson with food and shelter and that New Zealanders had offered to fly him home "on the first available flight".

"And we can make arrangements to ship his plane out at his cost," Mr Sanson said.

But Mr Johanson partner, Sue Ball, said he was reluctant to leave his plane, in which he had previously flown around the world three times, including over the North Pole.


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