From the Armand Diaries, we continue with his North Pole adventure in 1984:
Left Tanqueray at 11 A.M. Watched latitude digital readout on plane's instrument panel after we left north end of Ellesmere, another 200 or so miles north of Tanqueray. Just endless ice and snow, fissured cracks and bumps, even bit of open water here and there. They can seemingly set their instruments to point to Pole (not magnetic, of course) by getting satellite readings...
We touched down momentarily twice at pole, then completely circled at 5 to 10 feet above ice. As he (pilot) touched ice first time, stall buzzer sounded, and he instantly gunned the engine. Said too much gas in drums, plane too heavy to land. We were to go south to a camp where survival and some science studies being made and land. Unload drums. Return to pole; go back, refuel from drums and return to Eureka.
Anyway, we landed after having trouble finding the camp...someone said it had been moved, pilots couldn't find it. Actually they started to open drums in flight and siphon gas into tank - considered a no-no! Banged open bung holes with hammer and wrench. I had visions of a spark (in this desert, dry arctic air, electric spark and shock gets you easily if you touch metal).
The North Pole, Part 3
Photo: The Corner Corner