March 14, 2011
Today was busy day; a cargo shipment arrived with some instruments for the ground stations at 1430, and the P-3 arrived from Wallops Island, Va., at 1535. The air temperatures were about 20 below zero, with wind chills around minus 30 degrees Celsius. I was able to get right outside the hanger, and actually shot some video and photos of the P-3 landing, from atop the taxi way stair truck. It was a bit hazy, with some blowing snow, so visibility was not the best, but I was able to snap some decent shots which would prove helpful later without knowing it at the time.
The P-3 seemed to land very nicely from my vantage point across the runway, and it proceeded to taxi around towards the hanger. When it was about a hundred yards away we noticed that there was something wrong with the front tire. It had blown out during the landing/taxi. Later the pilots would use my photos of the plane landing to verify that the wheel had proper alignment during final approach. Unfortunately, due to the repairs, we will not be able to fly our first mission until Wednesday, March 16, however, the instrument teams will be able to utilize this time to finalize ground station set ups and calibrations. Hopeful for a sea ice flight on Wednesday!!