An Australian government medical team and an ailing American expeditioner are on their way back to safety after a successful pick-up in Antarctica.
The Airbus A319 aircraft landed late this morning (AEST) at the US McMurdo base.
After about an hour on the ground, they took off with the patient for Christchurch, New Zealand, the Australian Antarctic Division said.
Conditions at the Pegasus ice runway were said to be perfect for operating in the twilight of the polar winter.
McMurdo recorded about minus 30 degrees Celsius, and a moderate wind, today.
The US National Science Foundation said the evacuation was needed because the patient was suffering from a condition that may require treatment beyond that available at McMurdo's medical facility.
"The patient is currently stable but may require immediate corrective surgery," an NSF statement said. It said it would not release the person's identity.
The Australian aircraft was used because no US aircraft was in a position to respond quickly to the situation, NSF said. The RNZAF provided search-and-rescue coverage for the flights.
Antarctic Division spokeswoman Patti Lucas said the Australian team and their patient would arrive in Christchurch early this evening.