In mid July 2018 Perlan Project had several meetings in Buenos Aires with supporters. Sandra Sandercock the Perlan - Argentina Liason arranged meetings last year with the aviation authorities EANA and ANAC. This year the meetings were with the Argentina Air Force, CITEDEF, and UTN .
When you have a campaign in a remote area of Patagonia you take everything necessary with you. Knowing the actual (not forecast) winds at all altitudes is extremely helpful on the day of a wave flight. Elizabeth Tattersall led the weather balloon crew last year, so she knew just what to do. Sandra and Loris were her able assistants for this first weather balloon launch in 2018 from El Calafate.
Assembling the unique high altitude pressurized Perlan 2 is a bit more complex than your typical glider. However the procedure is still familar to other glider folks around the world. We inspect everything very carefully since it has traveled for 8 weeks to get to El Calafate. Thank you to AeroClub Lago Argentino for use of their hangar and their support.
So? Tago's 5-0 !!! Tago DePietro has been the Argentine coordinator of logistics for Perlan since the early days of Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson. When I realized Tago's 50th birthday would be during our El Calafate preparation time, it was the perfect excuse for a Perlan team party. After he finished the radio interview about this year's Perlan campaign, we were ready for him in the hangar.
The Perlan 2 wings are on! We are getting ready for Airbus Perlan Mission II - Campaign 2018. Again we awoke to fresh snow and icy roads at the end of July! But today we wanted to make progress towards flying in the Patagonia wave. So we scraped windshields and used those studded snow tires. There's so many facets to conducting a high tech remote wave soaring campaign.
The long-awaited Perlan container finally arrived in El Calafate! We had prepped the hangar with Mike and Tim doing lots of broom work. The Tribal truck driven by Daniel Garro arrived about 1 am. The next morning he brought it to the hangar ramp on a drizzly day. Tim climbed up on the back of the truck to open the container doors. We were able to pull the bags with the warm clothes out, but had to wait until the next day for the crane to arrive.
The 2018 Perlan Team got to El Calafte in good order. However a blizzard closed the high passes of the Andes. So our container had a delay at the busy Chilean port of San Antonio. For the past few years the team has really wanted to travel only 4 hours south from El Calafate to the crown jewel of Chilean national parks - Torres del Paine. It was selected by Trip Advisor fans as the 8th wonder of the world.
The Perlan Team gathered in Buenos Aires to fly together to El Calafate. Jim and Jackie Payne met Dan Gudgel and Mike Malis in Atlanta. Georgia thunderstorms caused some delays. But we had hours to spare in Buenos Aires.
You usually transfer between airports EZE (International) and AEP (Domestic). The Tienda Leon bus had a wifi hot spot and the chairs were definitely more comfortable than airline coach. We passed by spectacular old and modern buildings in Buenos Aires.