As both Keanu and Jason were not yet involved in any (successful) ozone probe hunt, there was a need to change this. Today the opportunity was given, as Uccle should land somewhere around Cologne. Keanu picked me up at 13:30, and after we had collected Jason, we went to Cologne. Unfortunately the balloon burst already with approx. 31,500 m height, so that the landing shifted to northeast. But since the parachute worked well, everything pointed to a landing between Bedburg (Erft) and Niederaussem.
Unfortunately ON-1 was and is down since this morning, so that no more automatic predictions could be made during the landing approach. In addition, the probe made a turn to the south during the final approach, which made the guidance more difficult. The SDR with loose contact, the RS-41 was more faint than expected (I’m used to better results with the 433 MHz magnetic base antenna) and the insensitive decoding behavior of the RS41 tracker did the rest. Nevertheless, we managed to catch a glimpse of the parachute during the landing approach, the first sonde I saw in the air before landing (Yeah!)
The landing place could not have been more favorable. It was a gas station, the probe stood, like beside it as it belonged there, the parachute and balloon remainings were lying on the roof. The parking lot was right in front of it. No drive-in in the classic sense, but close to it.
On the way back we stopped at P2950443 from 26.02.19 in Essen, which had landed very close on a nursery ground. Unfortunately every trace of her was missing after six days.
At the end the descent speed was below 4 m/s, although the parachute did not open quite perfectly. Although the sonde has an older OIF board from 2016, this seems to be only the second use, at least in this case. The crossed out date I reckon to be 23.01.19, this seemed to be a faulty start, because there was a re-start on 24.01.. For an entry as Found this is too little for me. Up to now I did not know the Safety from normal probe cord and cardboard, which was knotted to the cord. Oh, what have I missed this unique Uccle smell made of balloon residue, water battery and hemp cord. Talking about batteries: the water battery has the date of manufacture 20.01.15, so it is a newer batch than my last one and the heating battery is an Ultralife this time, like the motor batteries from De Bilt.