This is something you only experience once…

NP2 Meppen – Köln-Holweide
Vaisala RS41-SGP / P0720091 / 22.02.2019 0500Z
🔗 given away
🔗 public transport

Originally all Meppen sondes should have landed today between Cologne and Duisburg, tendency south to north. The first sonde had a reasonable parachute and landed on the teacher parking lot of the Holweide Secondary School in the west of Cologne. I took the opportunity and made my way. Arrived there with regional train and tram immediately the first joyful surprise: The probe still transmitted. So off I went to the school. Already from a distance I saw that there was a construction site, and also the parachute and balloon remains, which hung in a tree over a vehicle. I entered the parking lot and was immediately instructed by an employee of the tree nursery, who was supposed to trim the trees, and who was on site with a lifting platform. A short search revealed that the sonde was hanging two rows further in the tree. I went back to the team from the nursery who offered to get the probe out of the tree for me. Unfortunately they couldn’t get the parachute, because there was a car parked under it.

Afterwards I tried to hunt the next two sondes, but had to turn around after half the drive and break off. The morning sonde landed behind Bad Münstereifel in the forest with a great parachute, no way to reach it with public transport. And the noon probe landed, due to lack of wind, in Essen on a motorway exit, probably pretty much the only place where one does not get as a pedestrian at all.

But at least one of three, but that shows how difficult the Meppen hattrick is here, even with balloons and parachutes that don’t fall out of expectation and a landing corridor that is completely within the Rhine area, which is quite accessible by public transport.