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It's a GO! (+ 56 Miles )
November 26, 2008: Migration Day 41

Richard was today's lead pilot.

Photo Mark Chenoweth

Calm air at last! Many people came to see the young cranes fly over the tiny town of Milmine, Illinois as they departed for Cumberland County, IL. Watching, Liz said, "Over the aviation radio we could hear the pilots chatter as they struggled to get the birds on the wing." It took a bit of wrangling, but finally 11 loyal birds formed up on Richard's wing. Brooke flew behind them, and Joe and Chris were left to deal with today's mavericks: #812, 819 and 830.

The whole team worked hard for today's gain, despite bumpy air at the end, and a broken axel on the pen trailer. But they're now in Cumberland County, Illinois. The birds got two pumpkins as a treat, and everyone's hoping to cover the 63 miles to Wayne County tomorrow. If they can overfly Wayne County and continue, they'll cross into Kentucky! Now we're talking!

See the Cranes and Planes Depart!

Flyover viewing at departure will be along CR626E (also called Frontage Road) just east (approx half a mile) of Montrose Black Top Road (also called Spring Creek Road) and just west of CR 575E. Use MapQuest or GoogleMaps to come up with driving directions from your home location. You will want to be on site by sunrise - approximately 6:50AM - and dress warmly. Also remember, that you could make the trip for naught if conditions are such that the cranes and planes are unable to fly. Assuming we can fly, there will be a crew member at the viewing site to meet and chat with those gathered, as well as offer those interested an opportunity to purchase some OM (Operation Migration) Gear.

In the Classroom

  • Today's Journal Questions:
    (a) Listen to this audio clip (from 2002) of the pilots talking with each other and the ground crew on their radios during a migration flight. From this and past reports, what are some inventions that make it possible for this migration to happen?
  • (b-for-bonus) Today the birds had a headwind. The main group with Richard flew 2 hours, 26 minutes to cover 55 miles. What was their speed? Normal crane speed is about 35-38 mph; what effect did the headwind have?

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in cooperation with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).
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