9/10/2013: Keisuke Yoshimura

I did a weather modification internship this summer and took a lot of really cool photos, so I would like to share some of them.

Basically, we flew around thunderstorms and released seeding materials in order to reduce hail and increase rain. All of these photos were taken on the same day, but the first two photos were taken while we were flying with seeding equipment on. On the second photo, you can see the fire coming out near the wingtip. That is a Lohse Generator, one of the pieces of seeding equipment.

Anyway, we kept seeding and then we almost got surrounded by thunderstorms. We could still see a way to get out between two strong rain shafts though, so we headed there. When we reached them, there was a strong updraft and we got sucked into clouds. It was just 5 seconds or so, but I felt it was lasting forever. I could not see outside at all, but I had to look at instruments inside the cockpit. This is not so hard if you are used to flying in clouds. However, it was a little difficult since I had to fight with my body sensors, which was telling me wrong information due to the strong updrafts and a turbulence.

Oh by the way, I have a fear of heights and I hate turbulence a lot. Isn’t it funny? A lot of pilots actually have a fear of heights though.

Anyway, we safely got out of the thunderstorms and could see the whole picture of the storm from the backside. How beautiful is it? This is one of the reasons why I love flying. Pilots always get to see the best scenery.

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