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HIPPO III Research Flight 01 :: Colorado to Alaska

March 24, 2010 :: RF01

HIPPO III RF01 :: Misses ApproachThe first of 11 HIPPO III research flights left from Broomfield, Colorado aproximately 12:30pm heading to Anchorage, AK. Due to delays in the flight schedule, the flight plan only incorporated 2 dips along the way which were performed as missed approaches at airports in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada.

FAA regulations do not allow flights to fly below 1000' over land, so in order for the HIPPO study to collect samples at low altitudes they must do a missed approach at an airport. Missed approaches are when the aircraft is fully prepared to land at an airport, but just prior to landing the aircarft gains altitude again, intentionally missing the landing. This way the instruments on the aircraft can collect air samples at low levels of the atmoshphere. The image to the right was taken with the forward looking camera as it starts a missed approach at the Watson Lake Airport. In fact, some of the crew saw a moose when they did the missed approach!

Jonathan Bent
Jonathan Bent checking the AO2 instrument

Learn more about the
AO2 instrument

Canadian Rockies
Flying high over the Canadian Rockies


Arriving in AK
Arriving in Anchorage, AK




HIPPO is a landmark study for many reasons, not the least of which is it is the first time scientists have systematically mapped global distribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, covering the full troposphere in all seasons and multiple years.

  • HIPPO I :: 8 January-30 January 2009
  • HIPPO II :: 31 October-22 November 2009
  • HIPPO III :: 24 March-16 April 2010
  • HIPPO IV :: 14 June-11 July 2011
  • HIPPO V :: 9 August-9 September 2011