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Flight plan:  Alt B1, Gulf of Panama, Caribbean

Takeoff at 0800 local

Landed ~ 1430 local

Drops Requested:  32

Drops Deployed:  32

Issues:  1 drop no winds, several ADS program restarts and the flight map did not update for about the first half of the flight.  No show

stoppers, just minor tweaks.

After a very long maintenance day and a very patient Matt and Jason all four launcher springs have been replaced.

(And thanks Mack for hand delivering them to us!)

The launcher required several assembly builds as parts would get stuck and jam because everything was not aligned or did 

not stay aligned as it was reassembled and installed.  We tried to finish the three heater cables once the launcher

was installed but before the storage bin was replaced and even with the group effort we ran out of time due to crew

duty limits and not wanting to delay today's flight too late.  The consensus was to fly today and tomorrow and I will

finish the heater cables on Wednesday.

Today's flight went very well.  Thirty-two out of thirty-two sondes left the aircraft, no fast falls and one sonde with no winds for most

of the drop.  Mack recorded several high-speed videos of sondes being launched.  When compared to earlier videos he recorded

the difference is impressive.  (I am sure he will upload his footage when he has a chance.) 

Just found out no flight tomorrow.  Don't yet know why.

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2 Comments

  1. I checked the launch behavior of all of today's sondes. Based on the data files, all sondes came out as fast as they should have with no indication of any sondes leaving the aircraft slower than normal. Fixing the springs of the launcher seems to have made a big difference with that symptom as well.

  2. I had checked this during the flight on a few sondes and noticed that they seemed to be ejecting cleanly. I also recorded videos of several sondes launching throughout the flight, including at the end of the flight when the launcher had been cold for a while. In all of these cases the gate valve opened quickly.