Friday, 26 May

T-28 Flight 748

Project Flight 3

Take Off ~ 22:30 GMT

Return to Base: 22:20 GMT

Pilot: Tom Root


The aircraft was launched for convection west and southwest of CHILL.  The storm had a squall-line type structure, with multiple cells in a linear arrangement. The mission was aborted part way through first pass through the southern cell in this complex, southwest of CHILL, due to generator failure.


At the beginning of the cloud penetration, the Ez field was positive, indicating the existence of a negative charge above the airplane or positive charge below the airplane. The peak-recorded electric field was about 30 kV/m.


After 22:18:00 UTC, numerous lightning discharges caused the measured electric field Ez component to switch from positive to negative and vice versa. This may be an indication that lightning deposited some charge near the airplane's path, or possibly lightning eliminating some charges from the nearby cloud. Because of a generator problem, the T-28 returned to the airport earlier than planned;  the in-cloud observation time was just about 20 minutes.


The HVPS measured many charged particles of both polarities. The magnitudes of particles' charges did not correlate with the magnitude of Ez .


Data were generally of good quality.


There was an electrical balloon launch from Bethune at 22:26 into a cell to the north of the one, which the T-28 briefly investigated. The mobile mesonet was also focused on this more northern cell.