The Meandering Moose

A meandering moose gathers no moss...He will simply eat it along the way.

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21 September, 2003: Back out to Arizona, for another session of testing.

Seems like Union Pacific had a bit of a problem this afternoon--we passed two trains sitting head-to-head on a single track. Looks like someone didn't pay close attention to the signals. Luckily, it looks like the trains stopped with plenty of distance to spare--no damage to either train. Unfortunately, no picture of this, as the camera was still packed away.

Apparently, I'm now a Silver member of the America West Flight Funds club.


22 September, 2003: Successful Test Flight

Successful test flight with some new equipment aboard the TERN. Temperatures were pretty cool--90 deg F, but the humidity was way up to about 80% due to Cat 2 Hurricane Marty coming ashore. Figures that I'd leave one Cat 2 Hurricane (Isabel) on the east coast for another on the west.

It did RAIN here a lot. Flooded the rental car a bit (left the windows down), and I have seen firsthand the flash flooding that can happen with downpours, as the soil is so dry it doesn't absorb much. When it does, it becomes mud!

Light rain that evening. I hope to be here for a while and see the desert green!


27 September, 2003: We got a little visitor in the hangar this morning...
We were working on our aircraft when along came a spider... well, actually, it was a rather large scorpion. The metal thing on the left is my Victorinox Swiss Tool for size reference. Rick (works for the range) said that it was one of the larger ones that he'd ever seen in 15 years out here. We eventually took the scorpion up the hill and put it down under a bush. If I'd had any canned crickets with me, I'd have left it some for the trouble. Rick also noted that it was big enough so that folks wearing sneakers could easily be stung, even through their socks. I always wear my boots on these trips for exactly this reason! Rick also noted that they tend to come out at night. Since we're doing night flights next week, maybe we'll see some more!




29 September, 2003: Night flights
Night flights are a bit interesting. It's actually darker than you think it is based on this picture. The CCD happens to be good at boosting the effective light level to a point. We also happen to be looking eastwards. The sky is dark, so the airplane shows up pretty well.

Believe it or not, the three lights in the center are the airplane, just about to touch down.

On another note, this morning Rick found a scorpion about 30% bigger than the other one. Rick tried to put it into a box to move it outside, but "...well, I put the box down and tried to shoo it into the box. It walked right around the box at me, and I said, 'That's OK. You can live here if you like'...". I tried to find it later to get a picture, but couldn't locate it. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow...