An account of American Aviation in Antartica
A Statement from Director Thomas Henderson:
The genesis of “Ice Eagles” is my three trips to Antarctica as a Cartographer and Marine Technician between 1979 and 1998. While I was not an aviator, I spent many hours on LC-130 Hercules cargo planes and UH-1N “Huey” helicopters flown by the U.S. Navy. I came to appreciate the challenges of flying in such a deadly environment and the skills of those air crews that took on that mission. I began making documentary films years later, but I had those experiences in the back of my mind. When I discovered that no comprehensive film had been made about the history of these brave men and women, I decided to fill that need to preserve this remarkable history.
Director: Thomas Henderson
Runtime: 120 min
Antarctica was described by Admiral George Dufek, the first Commander of Operation Deep Freeze in 1955-59, as the most dangerous flying outside of combat. This film is an account which proves the truth of that statement. The story of American aviation’s triumphs and tragedies in the harshest environment on earth is compelling. “Ice Eagles” begins with the background of Admiral Richard E. Byrd and his first three expeditions in Antarctica from 1928 – 41. It then covers the succeeding post-WWIII exploration expeditions: Operation High Jump, Operation Windmill and the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition. “Ice Eagles” explains the emergence of science as a major driver for U.S. and world interests in Antaractica and documents the International Geophysical Year (1957-58) and the ongoing Operation Deep Freeze which still supports science today. The contributions of U.S. aviation as the primary means of supporting the ground-breaking science is documented in film clips, photos, maps and numerous interviews with historians and participants in the history. Most of all, “Ice Eagles” documents the courage and sacrifices of those brave air crews that made all of this possible.