ER-2 Flight: 96114
Date: May 8, 1996
Mission: Convective outflow microphysics with coordinated flight between ER-2 and DC-8 over the upper midwest, convection associated with Mesoscale Convective System, cold scene calibration.
DC-8 and ER-2 coordinated flight to sample cirrus outflow of MCS with DC-8 in situ and ER-2 radiometry above. T-39 sampling DC-8 contrail on transit from Salina to upper midwest and then breaking off to return to Salina. ER-2 coordinate with DC-8 for first half of flight and then break off on heading into the solar plane and observe thick cold cloud shield of MCS. ER-2 finish by flying convection on southern end of MCS.
The ER-2 launched at 1700 UTC, a few minutes before DC-8 and T-39, and landed at 2210 UTC. T-39 reported flying in DC-8 contrail before breaking off to return to SLN. ER-2 coordinated with DC-8 for first half of flight (up to GRB), observing broken cirrus of varying optical depth over Wisconsin. DC-8 made microphysical measurements. Low/mid level cloud deck below cirrus. ER-2 broke off and flew into sun over portion of thick cold cirrus outflow shield before reaching transmissive cirrus scenes in NW Illinois and Iowa. Convection cells associated with MCS moved well off to east before ER-2 arrived at convective site checkpoint. ER-2 flew over immature building convective cell to SW of Salina before descending.
ER-2 overflew DC-8 microphysical in situ about 10 minutes behind DC-8 data collection. Immature convective cell overflown at end (2129 UTC) of ER-2 flight exploded into deep convection.
Additional Pilot Notes: Abundant cirrus when flying into solar plane. Growing convective cell overflown at 2128 UTC (this cell later matured into deep convective cell - ed.). DC-8 contrails observed ahead of ER-2 (~20 nm length) in first half of flight, but dissipated by the time ER-2 flew over them.