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Airplane to Make Low-Level Flights Over Parts of Northern California
Released: 5/1/2009 5:16:19 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Marisa Lubeck 1-click interview
Phone: 303-202-4765



Residents should not be alarmed to witness a low-flying airplane over parts of the northern California Coast and Mendocino National Forest starting around May 8

For about two months, an airplane operated under contract to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be making low-level flights over the northern coast from Mendocino to Westport and extending inland south and east covering Ukiah, Potter Valley, and part of the Mendocino National Forest.  The survey will cover the cities of Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Willits, and numerous other towns in the area with the purpose of collecting and recording geologic measurements. 

Anyone observing the low-flying plane should not be alarmed when they see it fly over or pass below the horizon. The airplane is operated by experienced pilots who are specially trained for low-level flying.  

This survey is designed to remotely study geologic and hydrologic units that lie below land surface. It is part of an ongoing USGS program to identify features such as changes in rock types, ultimately providing a better understanding of the geology and hydrology of the area. 

The airplane is operated by Firefly Aviation of Calgary, Canada, which is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure flights are in accordance with U.S. law. 

Editor:  In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project.  Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated. 


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