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CNNSP-05 (01-Apr-2006)

Launch Time:  16:45z
Location:  Lincoln, NE
Max. Altitude:  92,710 ft
Max. Speed:  65 mph
Avg. Speed:  32 mph
Avg. Ascent Rate:  1083 ft/min
Avg. Descent Rate:  2619 ft/min
Flight Duration:  1 hr, 59 min
Distance (Great Circle):  69.3 miles

Our first flight of 2006 was in conjunction with the annual Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium, held in Lincoln, NE. Mark N9XTN and Wayne KE6DZD from NSTAR provided static displays, a digipeater and a live tracking station of the flight for the people at the symposium. The balloon and its payloads were released at 10:45 CST into a clear blue sky. There was a nice crowd that came outside to watch the filling process and launch. We used the "hail Mary" launch technique, and with all the excitement I neglected to ensure the payloads were strung out downwind. We had them in an upwind direction and when the balloon was released the tail end of the payload string narrowly missed a few folks in the crowd. Thankfully no one was injured and a valuable lesson was learned. The KC0MWM-11 payload functioned well and we got some nice pictures as we ascended next to a contrail and some nice pictures of western Iowa on descent. The WY0F-11 payload experienced some difficulties prior to launch and continued throughout the flight. Jack discovered later that a bad connection on the cable between the GPS receiver and the PocketTracker may have been the culprit. Balloon burst occurred at 92,710 feet. As we crossed the river into Iowa, we heard Doug KA0O and Tony KC0RCL. They were assisting with chase. We were fortunate to be in position to watch the payloads land. Jeff K0JLR recorded a nice bit of video of the landing. The payloads landed a short walk from the county road we were on, in a cornfield. Tony and his daughters headed back home after the recovery and the rest of us went to Glenwood, IA for lunch at Pizza Hut. It was a good day and we thank Mark for asking us to be part of the symposium.

Tracking and Recovery Crew

from left: Gene, WB0PKP; Jack, WY0F; Jeff, K0JLR; Roger, KC0MWM; Tony, KC0RJL and daughters.
front: Doug, KA0O