FAAM BAe 146ARA explores mountain rotor threat


FAAM BAe 146ARA G-LUXE at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in March (Jim McQuaid)

FAAM’s BAe 146ARA has just returned from a month-long stay in California, where she participated in a program to study mountain rotors, the Terrain-induced Rotor Experiment (T-REX) program. Mountain rotors are intense low-level horizontal vortices that form on the lee sides of mountains and are an important hazard to aviation. The T-REX program is gathering data to study the phenomena. FAAM’s BAe 146ARA G-LUXE (msn E3001) undertook sixteen flights in support of the program, operating from Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California’s Central Valley. She arrived in Fresno on 13 March after a 2-day ferry flight from Cranfield. The 146ARA was responsible for measurements at up to 35,000 ft, complementing a Beechcraft King Air taking readings from 500 ft to 28,000 ft and a Gulfstream V taking readings at altitudes up to 45,000 ft. The 146ARA departed on its return flight on 11 April, arriving back at Cranfield on 13 April.

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