HIPPO IV: Research Flight 05 - Cook Islands to New Zealand

June 25, 2011

Research Flight 05 took off from Rarotonga, Cook Islands headed to Christchurch, New Zealand, performing 7 dips. This flight was delayed by one day due to the volcanic ash cloud from the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano in Chile, that was traveling in the vicinity of Christchurch, New Zealand. Forecasts indicated the high pressure system over Australia would move slowly to the East, likely pushing the ash cloud to the south and east of the flight track, which enabled a safe approach into Christchurch in clear air.

Kudos to the pilots, Air New Zealand and the NOAA forecasting team for their support and hard work to determine a safe flight plan that did not encounter any ash!