Saturday, May 05, 2012

Second flying day- good start, then scrubbed!

Well, today started out ok, but the weather was looking a bit
marginal.  Tonny said we'd head out and see- our sites are far
enough away from town that the weather can be pretty different.
Well, to make a long flight short- we couldn't get into our first
destination, so I suggested a second- but that too was too far
"into the white"; the horizon and surface definition were too
poor for going to the higher elevation sites, which still have
snow and no bare ice.  Finally we chose a site that had exposed
patches of ice, which helped Tonny have a reference while he
landed.  There were crevasses near this site, and there was
plenty of snow to hide them, so I roped up to probe out a safe
area to unload the helicopter and work around our site:   

By the time we'd probed a safe area, unloaded our gear, and got
ready to work, the weather had come in.  Tonny suggested that we
pack up so as not to get stuck out there.  As we were gathering
things back onto the helicopter, he pointed out that conditions
were deteriorating more quickly- "uh, guys, not to stress you
out, but as quickly as possible we need to take off..."
When your pilot says something like that, you follow the rules of
polar work and get on the aircraft.

By the time we were ready to take off the horizon was completely
gone from view, and the surface was going quickly:

Back in town, Tonny consulted with the weather office, and
decided that was it for the day.  We then spent the rest of the
day going over plans, and working on how to accommodate this lost
day (we'll try to fly on Wednesday).


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