If you did all your planning correctly we are ready to go. Now we wait until Lexi determines if the weather in all the locations of our grid, fueling caches, and at Byrd is going to be weather we can fly in. If any one of the locations has or is expecting bad weather or low visibility the flight is cancelled or the plan is reworked. At anytime during the flight operation the pilots may decide that the weather is becoming an issue and the plane will turn back.

    As I wrote in another journal, weather is the number one factor that determines how much science gets accomplished in a season.

    Well, if you have done all your calculations you are ready to fly.

    Let's go!!!

    That is a lot of fresh water

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet
    The vastness of the ice

    Working on the Plane
    Fernando Morales of CReSIS checking the radar

    A lap top on board gives the first look at some of the data being collected.

    Radar Ready?
    Cameron Lewis starts up the radars after take off.

    All Aboard
    Pilot Lexi Larson is ready for the flight.

    Twin Otter Pilot Lexi Larson
    Lexi uses a sledge hammer to dislodge the plane skis from the ice.

    I am an extra passenger in the plane. Does my weight increase or decrease the time the plane will be able to fly prior to a fuel stop?

    (Note: I weigh approximately 200 pounds; read yesterday's journal for a hint.)

    For this reason, I will not be in the plane while they are flying the grid. Instead I am parachuting out of the plane at WAIS Divide Camp. I'M NOT really parachuting. The plane will fly to WAIS Divide Camp to refuel at the fuel cache there before heading to the grid location. I will spend about 8 hours there at that camp interviewing people and getting an idea what it's like at another remote location. PolarTrec teacher, Heidi Roop, is at WAIS Divide Camp, and I encourage you to read her journals or even better participate in her live event on Monday,

    January 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm central.

    Polartrec Teachers Hard at Work
    Gary Wesche and Heidi Roop work with a box of Sees chocolate for energy...Do they really need more energy?

    Heidi Roop with Gary Wesche
    Two polar teachers at WAIS Divide Camp 2010
    Check it out on the polartrec web site and register. Trekkers, sure glad you flew with me today!!!!

    Byrd Surface Camp from the sky
    This bird is back home to roost!
    Mr. W

    Answers: My weight on the plane would decrease the flight time by 20 minutes.