RF22: 21-6-2002 01:59 - 16:59

 

P3 Flight Log:

The P3 was scheduled to participate in a boundary layer evolution mission with a take off time of 1015 UTC. The actual take off time was 1027 UTC. We had been given waypoints and were to follow a box pattern (PA-> PB-> PC->PD->. . .) in a clockwise pattern with LEANDRE off during the 180 degrees turns. The King Air was also part of the mission and the results were highly dependent on the coordination between the two planes. Due to time constraints caused by the late take off, we started at PC instead of PA at an altitude of 3200? MSL with the King Air approximately 1 nm behind us on a track slightly to the north of us but at the same altitude. The instructions were to complete the first circuit at 3200? MSL, then ascend to 3900? MSL and descend to 3200? MSL etc. This was to continue until the boundary layer had developed at which point we would be given new altitudes to fly. As was the case for the previous BLE mission, the coordination between the two aircrafts was excellent and the legs were executed without any errors. The mission was scheduled for eight hours and because we were concerned about ELDORA overheating we decided, in consultation with Tammy Weckwerth, to turn ELDORA on every half an hour to evaluate the clear air return. This was done several times, but no good data was seen. At 1510 UTC ELDORA was left on even though no clear air could be detected. Approximately one hour later the LEANDRE scientist reported that ground clutter had become a significant problem and both the 3200? and 3900? MSL were eliminated and we ascended to 4400? MSL. We then started alternating between 4400? and 5400? MSL still executing the same box patterns as listed above. At 1705 UTC LEANDRE started overheating and since we still had no clear air from ELDORA, a decision was made to shut down the radar in an attempt to keep the lidar cool. Unfortunately, LEANDRE shut down at 1735 UTC and we ascended to cool the equipment down. The cool down took only ten minutes and we quickly came back down and rejoined the King Air. We started the last circuit at 1815 UTC and finished thirty minutes later. We were forced to leave station fifteen minutes early because of low fuel. The pilots had already shut down one of the engine in order to try to conserve fuel. The P3 landed in OKC at 1930 UTC.

The in-situ data on the P3 showed an almost constant mixing ratio at all altitudes flown during the mission and LEANDRE was getting similar results. It was unfortunate that ELDORA did not record any descent clear air return, but LEANDRE and the in-situ data appeared to have collected useful information.

A special thanks to the pilots (Jace, Al, and Brian) on the P3 and Wayne Sand on the King Air, for once again handling the coordination between the two planes.


Flight Track:



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