Hard to believe, but I flew my 99th near space mission this weekend as NearSys 11N. I traveled to Valley, Nebraska to launch a ballon in conjunction with friend, Mark Conner. Mark and I go back to 1998 when we met at the St. Joe Hamfest in Missouri.
We ran into a small problem on this flight that ended up creating a bigger headache before it was all over. The helium tank we received was not properly topped off (about 20% low). As a result of the unexpectedly lower volume of helium, we were forced to remove some payloads. The reduction in payload weight also meant the parachute would descend slower, permitting a longer recovery.
To make a long story short, recovery should have occured in farm fields south of Anita, Iowa. Instead, recovery occurred in a small patch of woods near Adair. As is typical, the near spacecraft recovered on the very top of the trees. It took about an hour for Mark and me to retrieve the payload.
You can view the flight data on my website at, http://nearsys.com/arhab/flightdata/2011/n/index.htm.
Mark posted pictures at, https://picasaweb.google.com/111334632256807627139/NearSysFlight12Nov2011
Onwards and Upwards