Views from the cockpit

West of Boulder. Pilot: Lee Baker. Photo courtesy of Frank Flocke.

West of Boulder, CO with Pilot Lee Baker. Photo courtesy of Frank Flocke/FRAPPÉ PI.

Post by Frank Flocke, FRAPPÉ Principal Investigator

As mission scientist, I get to sit in what would be the Navigator Seat in a military C-130, but on Snowflake that station has been converted into a science station. It’s right behind the co-pilot’s seat and has a desk-mounted laptop, which is capable of displaying all the measurements made in the back in real time, run chat with the ground, and display aircraft position, location and movement of weather, and a number of other ground based measurements such as winds, ozone, and particulates.

Ridge near Dinosaur, NW Colorado, Pilots: Scotty McClain, Lee Baker. Flight Engineer: John Cusack

Ridge near Dinosaur, NW Colorado with pilots Scotty McClain and Lee Baker, and flight engineer John Cusack. Photo courtesy of Frank Flocke/FRAPPÉ PI.

Whenever the scientific data and communications with the ground do not attract my full attention, the better view definitely is out front through the generous cockpit windows on the aircraft.

I make the flight plans for the C-130 and can talk to the pilots and together we can change the flight tracks slightly, depending on conditions (more about this in a later blog) but the short is that I always have a good idea where we are going and when the scenic parts of the flight come up. Below are a few pictures from our transects along the Continental Divide and other places around the beautiful State of Colorado.

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Longs Peak, Black Lake ,and the Spearhead (Glacier Gorge, Rocky Mountain National Park). Photo courtesy of Frank Flocke/FRAPPÉ PI.

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Approaching a pass over Downtown Denver, with co-pilot Bo LeMay. Photo courtesy of Frank Flocke/FRAPPÉ PI.

Flying by Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado with pilot Scotty McClain.

Flying by Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado with pilot Scotty McClain. Photo courtesy of Frank Flocke/FRAPPÉ PI.

Descending into the Colorado River Valley near Rifle, CO, for a missed approach with pilot Scotty McClain.

Descending into the Colorado River Valley near Rifle, CO, for a missed approach with pilot Scotty McClain. Photo courtesy of Frank Flocke/FRAPPÉ PI.

 

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