19 May 2011

Plane cancelled today

Our weather station sits lonely on the snow surface with snow drifting around it while recording the weather today that did not allow for planes.

Today we found ourselves in a bizarre situation. There were very few clouds (that later disappeared) and we had good visibility. All o.k. for a flight. The scheduled departure was at 8.30 this morning. The plane was loaded, the passengers were on-board and then the plane had a technical fault. They pulled back to repair it; but in the mean time we got an updated weather forecast from our Belgian forecaster, who so far has been spot on. He forecasted fine weather, but strong winds from East-South-East later in the day. The winds forecasted were at 20 knots gusting to maybe 30 knots. From early morning we could see the wind increasing, and our problem was that a ski-plane cannot land at our skiway, which runs North-South at cross-winds exceeding 15 knots.

The issue was discussed with Lars, our Operations Manager in Kangerlussuaq, and we agreed that the risk of too strong winds at the time of arrival of the plane was great, and this would result in a so called “boomerang” flight, i.e. a flight to camp without the possibility to land, and since we pay for these missions too, Lars and I felt the risk was too great.

At 11.00 we cancelled the plane, and it turned out to be a wise decision. All afternoon we had wind around 20 knots almost across the skiway. We spent the rest of the day listening to the wind and watching the drifting snow. May be tomorrow.

What we have done today:

1.  Waiting for the plane that did not come, and sitting out the blow.
2.  As Sarah is not feeling well today, Christian volunteered as cook.
3.  CFA detection systems now fully operational.

Ad.3: All components started, optimized and tested. Documentation updated. DAQ program improved and adjusted. Ice sample preparation installed.

Weather: Thin overcast in the morning later clear. Temp. - 17 °C to - 23 °C, 2-20 knots from SE and ESE. Visibility between 3 miles and unrestricted.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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