Mission Summary
20080830I1 Aircraft 43RF
Gustav Tail Doppler Winds flight 2008

Scientific Crew (43RF)
Lead Project ScientistEric Uhlhorn
Radar ScientistPaul Leighton
Dropsonde ScientistJun Zhang
VideographerErica Rule

Flight Crew (43RF)
PilotsM. Nelson
C. Newman
A. Ebhardt
Flight DirectorJ. Parrish
NavigatorT. Gallagher
Flt. Eng.Dewey
Data TechT. Lynch
J. Smith
Elec. TechD. Naher
Steve Wade

Mission Plan :

N43RF will fly a EMC-tasked Tail Doppler Winds mission into Tropical Storm Gustav. It will leave MacDill AFB, FL at 04:00 UTC, and recover at MacDill AFB, FL by 12:00. The planned flight altitude was 12000', and a "butterfly" pattern with 100 nmi radial legs designed to obtain three separate Doppler wind analyses. Ten dropsondes were planned at turn points and storm centers for each penetration. Additionally, 20 AXBT were loaded for deployment.

Mission Summary :

Take off Landing
MacDill AFB, FL04:50 UTC MacDill AFB, FL14:20 UTC

N43RF took off from KMCF at 0405 UTC on 30 Aug. Overflight clearance of Cuba airspace was granted, reducing the ferry time to/from Gustav, which at takeoff time was located near 20.2°N, 81.3°W. The IP (21.48°N, 82.20°W) was set up NW of the center, but due to proiximity to the Cuban coast, the inbound leg was shortened somewhat; the first NW to SE radial leg began at 0941 and ended at 1028 UTC. During the first penetration, a GPS sonde reported a MSLP of 959 mb. SSTs from the AXBTs ranged from 28.5 to 29.3°C.

The aircraft proceeded north to begin the second inbound (E-to-W) leg at 1053 UTC (20.63°N, 79.75°W). A dropsonde measured 955 MSLP during the second pass through the eye, and the leg ended to the W of the center at 1140 UTC (20.51°N, 83.36°W).

The third inbound leg from SW-to-NE began at 1201 UTC and ended at 1246 UTC, with a shortened outbound radial leg due to proximity to the Cuban coast. MSLP from an eye dropsonde indicated 955 mb.

Summary of Expendables
GPS dropwindsondes9

Figure 1. Flight track and expendable locations. GPS dropwindsondes in green, AXBTs in blue.

Figure 2. HWind analysis (left); LF radar reflectivity and flight-level winds for east-to-west radial leg (center); flight-level and SFMR sfc. windspeed, and SFMR rainrate for same radial leg (right).

Problems :

No major problems to report. Doppler analyses were shortened to NW and NE due to Cuban airspace restrictions.

23 April 2009.

Mission Data

Dropsonde plots
700 mb
850 mb
925 mb
1000 mb

1 second data file | NetCDF data file

Flight Data

Flight track

Temperature and Moisture

Wind and Atlitude

Flight track (detail)

Page last updated April 23, 2009
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