On Feb. 22, Surdex’s single-engine pilot Chris Calderon and sensor operator Dominick Schenewerk flew an impressive 8.1-hour mission during the Douglas County / City of Lawrence lidar project, earning them both new personal records for longest continuous mission.
The trip included a quick stop after the first hour to restart the sensor to end the calibration session. The aircraft was not shut down, however, and the two were swiftly airborne again and cruising above the City of Lawrence, Kansas, with the hatches battened for the long haul.
This 980-mile mission was on top of a previous flight that day, in which the crew was quickly sent back to the ground because of some unexpected clouds that formed in the project area shortly after takeoff. Including this acquisition attempt, the duo manned Cessna 206 N223SC for a total of 9.2 hours that day.
“Chris did a great job managing the fuel economy of the aircraft, which allowed us to have such a long hang time, and the sensor ran perfectly,” said Dominick, a Surdex operator of nearly three years. “We had our minds made up that morning that we would put in the extra hours if needed to knock out the project since we were expecting a string of bad weather ahead of us.”