Sleigh Fails in Heavy Weather

It has been a rough year testing the new design of Santa’s sleigh. Today Santa’s Sleigh has been in the hurricane zone of the southeast of the United States, where Hurricane Ian has made landfall in Florida. It was planned for the sleigh to be tested by the heavy weather.

It failed.

There’s no two ways about it. This sleigh, with it’s present design, cannot fly in horrible weather.

It needs to be able to face any weather conditions on earth – both for the safety of Santa and of the reindeer.

So all 12 test sleighs were sent into the hurricane zone under different conditions – loaded, empty, partially loaded, high altitude, low altitude, high speed, low speed, etc.

The sleigh failed in every instance.

Test pilots have not been ordered out of the hurricane zone but they have been limited in their assignments for now.

A new design of the sleigh was underway anyway and a new version is being rushed to the zone tomorrow. Test flights will continue as they bring in the new version of the sleigh to take advantage of the unsettled weather the hurricane provides.

Sometime in the coming days, the new sleigh version will head to another sector for continued testing.

It is not known if another opportunity for heavy weather testing will become available. But with each version of the sleigh that is released they basically have to restart the flight routine anyway. There will be future storms before Christmas and we are certain flight command will again chase those storms. A hurricane, such as Ian, is a rare opportunity in sleigh test flights.

Fortunately, this storm showed vulnerabilities of the current sleigh that needed to surface. Even though we say the sleigh failed it’s a good thing it was discovered. This moves the process of getting a working design for Santa by Christmas forward.

Sleigh test pilots are anxious to try the newest version.

Winter Storm

Winter Storm Creates Havoc

An early winter snowstorm knocked the North Pole offline mid-week and it has been a struggle to restore vital services.

Weather watchers in Flight Command say the storm has been the equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.

Normally a winter blizzard is not so disruptive to a place used to heavy year-round weather. But September is usually a mild month and it is a time where a lot of work is done to critical infrastructure. This storm hit during an upgrade to fiber optic Internet lines at the North Pole. It resulted in a five day outage that is still resulting in spotty service.

“We do much of this work during the months of April and September,” said Elf Rowdy Floog, a Utilities Services spokesperson familiar with the situation. “We had planned for these upgrades for September and they were going well. When we saw the forecast right around the 13th, we tried to speed some things up but really it was too late. We apologize for the inconvenience it has caused everyone.”

For North Pole Flight Command the outage gave some valuable training time for elves who have never suffered from an Internet outage before. Usually Internet at the North Pole is very stable. It has to be in order to support all functions of Operation Merry Christmas, including Flight Command. But without Internet the “show must go on” and this outage gave some in Flight Command a taste of what it would be like to lose Internet when Santa flies.

The use of conventional radio at ground stations, CB radio on sleighs, shortwave and HAM radio as well is via landline phone and visual signals were all put into practice in the last week.

Elf Buck Sanchez, head of flight operations at the North Pole, says that everyone from ground crew to sleigh traffic controllers around the world benefitted from having to use analogue systems for a few days. No interruptions to flight operations are reported to have occurred during the outage.

As of today – Sunday, the 25th of September – it appears that things are returning to normal.

New Sleighs

New Sleighs Sent to Sector 5

Flights of Santa’s Sleigh – officially called Version 3 – revealed new issues in recent tests. Flight engineers, test pilots and sleigh designers met on board of the SS Jingle Bell more than a week ago to discuss needed changes.

That resulted in a quick build of Version 4 of Santa’s sleigh. 12 shiny new and updated sleighs have been sent to Mexico, of all places, where test flights will shift next week.

Tracker elves in Sector may soon be hearing from Elf Pinky, as the course of flight action is expected over the skies of Sector 5 in the next week.

How long will Version 4 last? It’s hard to say.

Flight Command has added accommodations aboard the SS Jingle Bell to serve more teams from Flight Command from the North Pole. The flights of Version 4 will be watched very closely. Santa’s Workshop has also been placed on alert to aid the Research and Development Department in rush builds of even the next version, should another one be necessary.

In addition, test flights are stepping up in their schedule. We do not yet have confirmation but rumor has it that elves in the Reindeer Operations Department have been called to see if more reindeer can be made available to aid in the test flights of Santa’s sleigh for the next two months.

Please standby for additional breaking news.

New Sleighs

New Sleighs Ready for Testing

The end of the road comes today for the first generation of the newly redesigned sleigh that Santa will fly this year. It will be a sleigh design that goes down in dubious history simply because it crashed last week.

But it is not unusual for a year’s first design to end dubiously. They never get Santa’s sleigh right on the first go around. In fact, there are as many as 15 or 16 different versions of Santa’s sleight tested each year before one is identified as “the” sleigh for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Since this year’s sleigh is based on last year’s record breaking flight, there won’t be 15 or 16 versions of it. There just isn’t time for that.

But the next generation is ready – freshly painted and ready for the test pilot and reindeer teams when they arrive at the North Pole.

The test flights, under this new design, will then move to another location to begin extensive daily testing. We will share that location with you in about 24 hours. The final touches are just now being put on the flight plan.

We have received, via the tracker elf reports from, several purported sleigh sighting reports and some images. Here is an image shared with us from Southern Colorado just tonight:

Not Sleighs

Flight Command has received many such images in the past 36 hours or so. But those are not sleighs you are seeing, but rather satellites.

None of the images like this that we have received match up with the timeline of the current flights.

So we are still awaiting our first images of sleighs in flight for this year.

Maybe it will happen with the new sleighs we are sending out.