Vale Ozcan Ertok

Station Year Season
Enderby Land 1974/75 Summer
Enderby Land 1975/76 Summer
Mawson 1984 Winter
Macquarie Island 1986 Winter

The ANARE Club has received the sad news Ozcan Ertok died suddenly but peacefully at his Noosaville home on 30th December 2022, aged 93.

Ozcan Ertok (1929-2022)

Ozcan Ertok was born in Turkey in 1929. At 21 years of age, Oz joined the Turkish Air Force as a civilian radar technician and served there for more than nine years. Between 1960 and 1970, Oz worked with the Turkish Atomic Energy Commission where he was a nuclear electronics expert at the Nuclear Research Centre in Ankara.

In 1970 he immigrated to Australia with his wife and 3 teenage children and the following year joined the Melbourne office of National Mapping.

In the summer of 1974-75 Oz was a member of an ANARE expedition to Enderby Land as the survey camera operator during the high altitude (20,000 ft) aerial photography operations from a base at Knuckey Peaks. It was on a flight in this expedition with the Pilatus Porter cruising on autopilot that the pilot became unconscious. With no formal flying experience or training, Oz took over the controls and was successful in descending the aircraft and flying it back to base. He was forced to circle the area three times to reduce the fuel load when fortunately the pilot regained consciousness enough to land the aircraft. Whilst never given formal recognition for his crucial role in this incident, Oz’s calm and decisive actions saved the lives of all three aircraft crew members that day.

He returned to Antarctica in the following summer of 1975-76 and was able to assist in the equivalent of two season’s aerial photography output.

In 1984, Oz wintered at Mawson as the Senior Radio Technical Officer. He installed the first of the Inmarsat satellite communications systems in Antarctica.

In 1986, Oz wintered at Macquarie Island as a Radio Technical Officer to install an Inmarsat communications system.

Oz retired from National Mapping in 1991 and in 1995 moved to Noosaville on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Oz was highly respected as a true professional and for his great range of technical skills, dedicated work ethic and as an excellent field survey party member.  Oz was just a good bloke and a pleasure to work with.

Ozcan Ertok died suddenly but peacefully at his Noosaville home on 30th December 2022, aged 93. He is survived by 2 sons and a daughter, 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

email received from Mike Morgan, 28 April 2023
Enderby Land 74-75 and 75-76