Thanks to great NASA WFF aircraft support, with rapid shipment of spares from Wallops Island VA, and our outstanding P3 aircrew installing parts and testing the engine repair early afternoon today, NASA 426 was returned to a “flight ready” condition.
We are fortunate* that Thule airport will be open today (Saturday openings are very unusual) to support an unrelated re-supply program, so not only are we able to re-position to Thule, but the extended airport hours at Thule allowed us to launch two hours later than “normal” which means that more of this transect mission will occur with the sun above the horizon, improving the optical image data (always important over sea ice).
NASA 426 is being pre-flighted, and the OIB instruments warmed up for our return science mission to Thule Greenland from Fairbanks (Sea Ice South Basin Transect).
We’ll be taking off at 0500 Fairbanks time, flying east through decreasing darkness early in the mission, and into the rising sun, landing in Thule about 5 or 6 pm Thule time.
* “Fortune favors the prepared (mind)”; attributed to Louis Pasteur
Update: There was a prop leak, so the flight turned around and landed safely.