Then Turned Back (+
0 Miles )
Yes. No. Even before dawn broke this morning the team could feel
icy northwest (NW) winds blowing away any chance of flight
today. They sent the NO GO announcement.. .and then the winds STOPPED!
Yes! Chris and his trike took off for a test flight. He climbed
to 1000 feet in search of some favorable air. “It’s
not perfect, but I think it might be do-able,” he radioed
the anxious team on the ground. The team agreed: If the birds
showed signs of not cooperating, or not being able to
bumpy air, the trikes would turn back before the 5-mile mark so
the birds wouldn’t have to fight the NW winds for long to
get back to the pen.
ground crew scurried to the pen as the pilots warmed up their trikes
on the runway. Chris,
lead pilot, gave the signal and the costumed crew released the
birds. They rushed out and 11 were almost immediately
wing. Eventually the other three became airborne and the chase
trikes moved in to lead them. But soon the main group
of birds turned. They left Chris on his own — and
the "rodeo" began as they tried to round up the birds
and get them back into the pen. Soon all the trikes and
were safely put away for a dismal day 7 in Winnebago County.
"We consoled ourselves with the fact that the birds
at least had some exercise — and favorable
winds are forecast for tomorrow," reported Liz.
North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in
cooperation with the Whooping
Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).