After the last Essen sondes had not made it to a position uncomplicated to reach, P3530031 broke through this series. The prediction was at first southeast of my QTH, between Wiehl and Waldbröl, but thanks to the early burst below 25000 m the landing shifted some kilometers to the north. Despite the low descent rate the probe didn’t fly as far as I expected and landed northwest of me in the Gelpetal in a forest. So far the nearest landing site to my my QTH since I’m into radiosondes with 6.62 km as the crow flies (in 2017 two landed within sight of my window, but I didn’t knew anything about them…)
A friend, who lives a little over a kilometre from the landing site, had asked me to let him know when I would be hunting in the vicinity of his house. I wrote him at night and we arranged to meet in the morning. The first bus would arrive there at 8:10, I hoped that the probe’s batteries would do that despite the cold weather.
Arriving on site, the fact that only 400 m away from the sonde the signal level was sufficient for decoding, made me hope for a ground landing in the forest. So it was, probe lying on the ground, parachute and big balloon remainings approx. 20 m further in the tree. Unfortunately the balloon remainings could not be abseiled. The large remainings of the balloon could also mean that the balloon did not burst completely, but leaked helium bit by bit. The probe shows traces of corrosion on the broken sensor arm, which surprises me after only one night in the forest.