It was a brief high altitude Argentine wave season with no good weather during expected prime time of August and September. But Airbus Perlan Mission II made the most of what weak wave was available. We learned an incredible amount about the support available in Argentina, particularly El Calafate. This final flight, on September 26, 2016, with Jim Payne and Tim Gardner was also a learning experience.
This was to be a dawn photo flight with helicopter chase. Due to low cloud deck we had to delay until 10 am. Jim and Tim were on tow when they decided to return to base to fix an equipment problem. We serviced the air bottle, O2 bottle, and charged batteries in under 2 hours. They took off 2.5 hours after first landing for another pressurized photo flight. The bear co-pilot got a fabulous ride! Notice the tail camera photo correlation with the LX 9000 display. Also note the Life Support Systems Display in the greens. All went well except there was no "onda grande."
Tim once again got some classic photos above TWO glaciers. First in-flight photo is above Lago Argentino. Second is above Perito Moreno glacier - the "white giant." Third in flight photo is above Ameghino glacier (dark curvy stripe down the middle) with Perito Moreno on the left side of photo.
The ground crew of Tago, Alec and Jackie was joined by Airbus' Ken McKenzie to launch and recover Perlan 2 twice in one day. Another Perlan first!
With the polar vortex shrinking there is very little chance of any high altitude work for us in next few days. So we will pack up the trailer and container. Next flights should be in Minden where we will build on what we have learned in El Calafate.
Perlan Se Eleva! Jackie