En Route to Chile on the C-130 Airplane
Jobs in science can be both interesting and challenging. As an example, consider the travel involved. On October 11, 2008 we left Colorado headed for Corpus Christi (Texas), the first leg of a three day trip to Arica, Chile.
It is a short (small) crew for these ferry flights of the NSF C-130: two scientists, a computer engineer, three technicians, a flight engineer and two pilots. During research flights the crew is nearly twice as large with the excess made up by scientists who operate instruments and also coordinate the measurements.
On the morning of October 12 we departed Corpus Christi for Costa Rica, arriving there late in the afternoon. That night it rained steadily. The next morning was difficult for the crew, checking the C-130, getting it fueled, and stowing the gear. This airplane is so large that we carry 3 meter step ladder for reaching the instruments that hang from the wings.
The flight from Costa Rica to Arica, Chile was most interesting.
We passed west of Panama, Honduras, and Ecuador reaching the north coast of Peru near the Equator. Saw an enormous canyon that emerges from the Andes, the Peruvian high country and the expanse of the southern Pacific Ocean.
This ferry flight of the C-130 started in Broomfield, Colorado (1,720 meters above sea level, 39° north latitude, 105° west longitude) and arrived 50 hours later in Arica, Chile (74 meter above sea level, 18° south latitude, 70° west longitude).
Postcards from the Field: Climate Science from the Southeast Pacific