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Low-flying Plane Scanning Central Washington for Scientific Clues to Past, Future
Released: 10/17/2011 6:30:37 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communications and Publishing
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, MS 119
Reston, VA 20192
Marisa Lubeck 1-click interview
Phone: 720-891-3215

Citizens and visitors should not be alarmed if they witness a low-flying aircraft scanning central Washington terrain during the fall.

Starting on Monday, Oct. 17, and lasting for about two months, a low-flying airplane under contract to the U.S. Geological Survey will begin collecting and recording geophysical measurements over central Washington for scientific research purposes. The plane will collect measurements from the areas surrounding and including the city of Wenatchee, Stevens Pass, parts of Chelan, Douglas, and Grant Counties, and the towns of Chelan and Entiat.

This scientific analysis is designed to remotely study geologic and hydrologic features that lie below the land surface. It is part of an ongoing USGS federal research program to identify physical occurrences such as changes in rock types. The program’s goal is to provide a better understanding of the geology and hydrology of the region via an aerial perspective.   

The plane is operated by Firefly Aviation Ltd., of Calgary, Canada under contract to the USGS and is controlled by experienced pilots who are specially trained for low-level flying. Firefly Aviation is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure flights are in accordance with U.S. law.  

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