A Most Excellent Adventure
(click on pictures to enlarge)
An ER-2 Flight
After an instrument upload before a flight, the pilot and airplane readiness continues. Picture A shows Dee in his pressure suit heading for the van that takes him out to the airplane. Picture B shows Smurf getting Dee situated. Smurf is the life support person that is responsible for the condition of the pressure suits, the suiting of the pilots, the ejection seat and the parachute pack. Picture C shows Dee waiting to get in the airplane. Jan is shown in picture D as he briefs Dee on the status of the airplane and take off conditions. Jan is the other pilot, and he has just pre flighted the airplane and all of its systems. The pilots alternate flights, and Dee pre flights for Jan when he flies. Pictures E through H show Smurf getting Dee situated in the airplane, while picture I shows Smurf holding an umbrella so the sun doesn't get in Dee's eyes as he makes his final checks before taxi.
Pictures A and B show the airplane being checked by the crew. Notice the long, black hose that heats the cockpit before the pilot gets in. Wayne discusses something with Bob during the preflight checks in picture C. Bob and Bob are shown in picture E, and Bob removes some of the inlet covers in picture F. Finally, after the long pre flight, Dee is ready to taxi in picture G.
A take off sequence is shown in picture A through D.
Several hours later Dee returns. Picture A shows Jan, Mike, Dee, and Kathy. After removing his suit, Dee is ready for the debriefing. Mike opens the debriefing session in picture B. Dee is shown talking of various aspects of the flight in pictures C through E, and Dee takes questions from the audience in picture F. At this point, this flight is over except for the removal of the instruments and the data processing. The next mission has already been planned and Paul discusses this in pictures G and H. Looking closely at picture H, one can see that the next flight is what we call a stack flight where the airplane is flown at different altitudes in order to get a vertical profile of the atmospheric conditions.