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Seeing the
Big Picture


In Plane Sight

A Tale of Two Years

Then and Now

Inside the Bay's
"Green Box"

Workshop Report:
Remote Sensing
Needs in the Bay

Scientists Weigh in on
Blue Crabs

Extension Faculty Excel

View of the Bay from the airplane showing Kent Island - by Jack Greer
A summer day from 500 feet, looking north across Kent Island toward the Bay Bridge.
Photo by Jack Greer.
Monitoring the Bay from the Air

The engine of the Piper Arrow whines up to 2000 rpm. The pilot throws a switch and throttles up again, the plane shuddering on the runway with the force of the single propeller, its brakes locked tight.

"You have to check out both magnetos," the pilot says, "in case one of them stops working while you're in the air. That's what fires the spark plugs."

This seems a very good idea.

With redundant systems checked out, the pilot releases the brakes, and the Piper's spinning prop pulls us along the runway. Always, when a plane takes off, there is a sense of escape, of slipping off a shackle you didn't know was there, and in a small plane the effect is even greater, the sense of risk keener.

Pushing the throttle farther forward, the pilot coaxes the plane into a breakneck pace, as it races directly for a small gap in a line of trees. Long before we get there, the wheels have left earth, the small airfield has begun to drop away, and we are over Beards Creek and climbing fast. The pilot appears relaxed, confident, having done this many times before.     Read more . . .

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