|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
| 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
| 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...