April 19, 1995
Vortex NCAR Aircraft Mission #2
Takeoff time - 1915 UTC
Landing Time - 0100 UTC
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We departed Will Rogers without the P-3 and headed toward Altus to join the
ground crew which departed earlier for Wichita Falls. The Electra flew to
the west of a cloud mass and immediately encountered strong convection upon
descent into northwest Texas. We flew many Doppler legs beginning at
approximately 2045 UTC along intense convective storms that appeared to
briefly acquire supercellular characteristics. This was the first
encounter of these types of storms by the Electra pilots. The flight legs
were oriented approximately northeast to southwest. There were several
legs flown between the two storms that could result in a unique Doppler
synthesis on both sides of the storms.
The Electra tried to team up with the P-3 to fly a pre-convective pattern
along the dryline, however, dust could be seen at altitudes close to
15,000'. The pilots for both aircraft did not want to penetrate the dust.
A beautiful view of the convective storms developing along the leading edge
of the dust could be seen from the aircraft. The Electra flew from west to
east through the dryline in an attempt to collect some Doppler data on the
structure of these storms.
At the end of the mission, the P-3 and Electra were finally able to execute
a practice coordinate flight with the Electra trailing the P-3 by 4-5
miles. The pilots seemed pleased with the test and we are now ready to
execute the pattern on a supercell storm as documented in the Operation
Plans. Radio communication and GPS dropouts continue to plague the mission.