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C130 Hercules plane on Jan Mayen

A symbol of the 335 sqd  A symbol of the 335 sqd

A C130 Hercules plane on the air field

The people who work at Jan Mayen, go there with one of the Royal Norwegian Air force's C130 Hercules planes. These planes have their base at 335 sqd at Gardermoen, but fly to Jan Mayen from Bodø, it is a 1000 km flight of 2 hours.

The planes also bring supplies and mail, but there is only 8 flights each year, so letters from home are scarce. On Jan Mayen there is a 1.5 km landing strip of gravel, used for the scheduled C130 landings, but also for other missions like ambulance planes to collect sick or injured fishermen, or if one of the "Jan Mayeners" has become too ill to be patched up by the local nurse.

The instrumentation of the air field is limited,* so plane visits are often postponed due to the weather conditions. The weather conditions on Jan Mayen is extremely variable, in summer fog can be a problem, in autumn and winter sudden blizzards can stop a landing. Flights can be delayed up to 2 to 3 weeks, sometimes even longer. (The "June-plane" in 1990 arrived in august). Strong wind is also common and "Karman wind" - air waves caused by Mount Beerenbergs 2277 m "in the middle of nowhere" can create dangerous wind shears.

* There is no radar on the island, but there is a NDB (Non Directional radio Beacon), which is used for general aviation in the area and for assisting the navigation of planes flying to and from Jan Mayen. With the help of NDB the pilot can choose the approach route to the air field. The pilot will then land if the visibility and wind conditions along the approach route and at the air field permits it. The Loran C system is also used for the navigation of planes.

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