Saturday, March 25, 2006

Must Be My "Electric" Personality

My first flight week since January ended rather uneventful. The big story this week has been the Queen of the North sinking. When I called into the office to findout what Chopper requirements were needed for the show, an intern summed up my contribution this week, "Chopper who?"

There was a bit of excietment to report. We had been sent out on a pretty routine flight assignment. A typical fire call in Burniby. Man trapped ect,ect. I wasn't going to kick a gift horse in the mouth. It has been a less that stellar flight week, so any flying hours are good hours.
Off we went, hoping for disaster, but finding none. After a few orbits we head back to YVR. As we make the turn west, Hedeya our pilot says over the intercom, "lightning". Did you say lightning?

Tailcam shot of the storm cell over the Straight of Georgia as we fly west along the Fraser

Over the Straight of Georgia there were storm clouds that seemed to be heading our way. I positioned the FLIR camera toward the storm cell. As we flew into our approach pattern into YVR we both noticed a sudden drop in the temprature. "Did you see that?" he said. I told him I had been looking out the window in another direction. But my FLIR camera was pointed in the right direction. We were on the ground a few minutes later. I grabbed my SX camera and set up the tripod just outside the hanger to see if I could luck out and get another shot. The cell was moving fast and stayed to the west, tracking north toward the sunshine coast. ( for those of you back east, if you remember the Beachcombers, Gibsons the place where "Molly's Reach" sits is on the sunshine coast)

Lightning strike as seen from the FLIR camera aboard Chopper 9

Anyway as luck would have it, a bolt flashed in the middle of my frame. I was able to send in the feed the tape and Tamara used it for her weather during the 6. I believe it is the first lightning that has been shot from the helicopter,,,,, well at least for this year.

This frame grab is from just outside the hangar taken with my Sony SX


Jeremy Cohn said...

Some really great posts Mur! It's really interesting to see the day in the live of a chopper camera man! :)

Anonymous said...

Too bad you weren't up in Chopper9 yesterday! Man, they were hot for about 45 minutes straight with that breaking news.

Mike Laverdiere said...

Nice lightning shots Murman!