#41 Our New Ride

It might be nearing the end of the season, but not everything is old hat. Our faithful Cessna Skymaster N6263F was downed for routine maintenance last week, so we were flown in a replacement plane: N5CS. The switch is bittersweet; 63F became very dear to us as we spent hours upon hours packed securely inside, learning all of its nuances. However, 5CS has some nice burgundy leather seats and a quieter cabin-- not that silence matters much since we always have our flight headsets on.

Our new plane with lonely 63F in the background. Photo Credit: Kelly Slivka.

It's very hard work to prepare a plane for surveying, since our unique purpose for flying creates unique needs in the plane. Days are spent wiring the GPS, the radios, the computer, and our headphones in order to allow for us to collect data and operate while not taking our eyes off the sea. Our pilot Mike even had to borrow our field house's oven to cut a special window that will hinge open, allowing us to photograph clearly. I'm ever-impressed with the dedication of everyone involved in this project.

One of my favorite aspects of field work is the need for constant adaptability. Never a dull moment here on the calving grounds!



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