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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Quiet times in the plains

After a very active May 4 - 6 we are in a quiet pattern now with the jet stream well to the north and chase chances minimal through at least May 22nd or so. The GFS model that we use to forecast out 10 days or so hints at a pattern change with a return of troughs to the central plains states. For now I think Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas can use a break!

I talked to my friends Kaori and Shigai about possibly having the boys and I continue the work of getting thier probe into a tornado on our chase-cation which starts May 28th and runs to June 10th. We would use thier medium size yellow probe with 4 mini-DV cameras.

On thursday I flew my video plane minus the video system to keep it light for the first test flight. I flew it at the Arvada Associated Modelers park along hw 93. I had their instructors help me tune the engine, range test the radio and then take me up with a 'buddy box' where they can take over if I get into trouble. It had been over 12 years since I flew last, but with a little simulator training at the local hobby store I was able to take the controls and within minutes I was doing loops, rolls and landing approaches. I landed it myself, although too fast and broke a prop but not bad after having been away for so long.

Next steps are to build a new camera pod with a lens cover as I found that the fuel that gets on the lens ruins the coating and causes the camera to 'flare out' and have bad picture quality. I need to join the AAA flying club now and get my own frequency pin so that I can hone my flying skills in the next few weeks.

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The Carlsons', Verne, Michael and Eric

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