The Norwegian cargo airplane that went missing 1355 zulu time is still not found. According to the news at 2000 zulu time, the faint radio signal that should have been picked up by a Danish SAR EH-101 helicopter is not confirmed.
This cargo airplane is extremely sturdy. I have flown with the old C130. The plane missing is brand new. It has a Go-Around-Autopilot with Auto-Throttle, which enables the plane to take immediate control and climb if it inadvertently is steered towards the ground. That makes this all the more puzzling, and a heavy rotor turbulence associated with Lee Wave in between the mountains could maybe be an explanation, but this is a mere speculation for my part.
In any case, I hope and pray the crew has made it, but time is critical for survivors. It is freezing in the snowy winter mountains.
In relation to my previous post – crew of five missing - news update at 1830 zulu time was that a Danish SAR helicopter has picked up a faint radio signal, most likely from the emergency positioning radio beacon from the missing airplane just across the border on the Swedish side. The signal was picked up near Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden (2,106 meters). As the picture illustrates, the Kebnekaise mountain region is on a clear day extreme terrain. And right now it is night and extremely low visibility according to a Swedish reporter in the area.
There has been a lot of activity in the air around Narvik. Several heavy aircrafts have been buzzing up in the clouds. Nothing unusual, like I wrote yesterday, there is a huge military exercise in Northern-Norway these days. An hour ago the Sea King (Search And Rescue helicopter, Royal Norwegian Air Force) landed for refueling at Narvik Airport, Framnes. Furthermore, shortly after two Bell 412 helicopters flew by. All flying in the same direction.
Just now the news reports that a Norwegian Hercules C130J cargo airplane has been lost in the mountains between Norway and Sweden. The plane had a crew of 5 and was en route from Evenes in Norway to Kiruna in the Swedish mountains when it went missing. There is really low visibility in the mountains right now. Really sad.
These days 16,300 troops from 14 nations are battling the cold climate of Northern-Norway in the biggest joint military exercise in ten years Operation Cold Response (well, the name says it all).
But they are battling a real, and very dangerous enemy. The 5. March 1986 a platoon of Engineers was working on a route for belt-vehicles through the Valley of Vassdalen. An avalanche started high in one of the mountain sides and came thundering down towards the soldiers.
I remember it like it was yesterday. My uncle – a police officer – was flown in with his service dog Arco, a highly trained avalanche rescue dog. They were in the middle of an exercise in Saltfjellet mountain region when the call came in. All day long an endless chain of hueys – Bell UH-1 – helicopters came from the valley, landed on the airport here, and then flew in again. After having spent several days without sleep, my uncle finally got som R&R.
I met him at the local police-station. Arco, his German Shepherd police dog just lay there, totally exhausted and my uncle was very worn. His face said it all. Digging all those victims out of the snow and seeing what terrible destiny had struck them down had, set a lifelong mark in my uncle. 16 soldiers were killed in that accident. The heaviest loss of Norwegian military personnel in peace-time.
And right now, 32,600 feet are really walking on eggshells. The Avalanche Warning is currently at its highest! Lots and lots of snow, combined with periods of mild weather earlier this month, and heavy winds, has set the scene for many new avalanches in the days to come. So I cross my fingers that the guys and girls out there tread lightly and stay away from the danger-areas. I am crossing my fingers that all the 32,600 coming into the area also will exit the area, unskaved, every last one of them.
You may not think too much about it, but almost every item you are in contact with every day, practically every second is impacted by one very essential thing: weather… Think about it, industry transport goods over the oceans or through the air. Maintaining a major road takes planning and is dependent on good weather forecasts. What is an almost dead-certain part of any news broadcast where ever you are on the planet? Weather forecasts… And the man that invented the science that makes modern, scientific weather forecasts possible, was the Norwegian Vilhelm Bjerknes. Until he did it, nobody thought it would be possible to predict weather with any accuracy.
In a country where you can always start a conversation with a chat about the weather – Norway – (we have a lot of it here) we celebrate the 150 year birthday of this remarkable man who contributed so much to making your modern, everyday-life possible!
This HDR (High Dynamic Range) composition was taken this morning just before 6 o’clock.
Widerø (wideroe.no) is the Norwegian short range airline flying between the short runway airports in Norway. Hats off to the pilots, as long as the cross wind isn’t too strong, they fly. Here is a few shots taken of the flight coming in from and taking off to Bodø (Bodoe).
Observe the wind socks (the red and white wind indicators by the side of the runway. They were pretty stiff today…
Now, the runway is officially appr. 800 meters long, but in reality, RWY 01 is 110 meters longer than the official number, and the north end (RWY 19) is 20 meters extra, so the strip is 910 meters long. Nice to know if you’re coming in a little heavy (FYI flyboys and -girls). Just check it out in Google Earth or Google Maps!
Snow showers mixed with a little blue sky and sun paints some fantastic contrasts in the sky! This was taken on a stretched arm (we’re practically snowed in) out the door.
The snow has kept blowing in all day, but in the middle of the whiteout, there was a tiny hole of blue sky…
Suffering from insomnia is no fun - I can vouch for that. But being as it is – sometimes I throw my tiredness overboard deep in the darkest hours of night and shoot just a few pictures. So I did this night as well.
There’s been quite a snowfall these past few hours reaching half a meter. Snow dampens the sounds and a snow filled night like this magical night in an industrial city in Northern-Norway was no different. I hope I have been able to convey this silence through these images:
The chances of seeing the fantastic aurora these days are slim to none with this kind of weather…
What a fantastic week! I don’t know what has impressed me most. There have been so many memorable moments, I can hardly count them. When the Norwegian men worked their way up from a 19th place, after their first shooting, and scored the gold medal this Friday I was a total wreck from excitement.
And today Tora Berger did a fantastic effort which placed Norway firmly at the top op of the Medal Statistics this World Championship 2012 in Ruhpolding. I don’t know where that woman gets her strength from… She seemed so enormously tired today from all the races she has been doing this week, but she did it – gathered unimaginably strength and won the gold medal.
The entire bunch of Norwegian athletes – in the World’s Best and Finest sport – Biathlon (practically the only sport I watch) has given me so many brilliant and joyous moments this week!
Women (unordered list)
- Tora Berger (The Queen of The World Championship 2012)
- Synnøve Solemdal
- Fanny Welle-Strand Horn
- Elise Ringen
Men (unordered list)
- Emil Hegle Svendsen
- Ole Einar Bjørndalen (The King of Biathlon)
- Rune Bratsveen
- Tarjei Bø
Einar Bjørndalen (photo: Okino)
Berger (photo: Jarle Vines Jarvin)
Hegle Svendsen (photo: Jarle Vines Jarvin)
Solemdal (photo: Miceman)
Bratsveen (photo: Njaelkies lea (Lars Falkdalen Lindahl))
Ringen (photo: miceman)
I was lucky today – in between the thick cover of clouds – a sudden a very small clearing opened up and gave me a tiny window of opportunity to catch the special conjunction that is visible in the night sky this week between Jupiter (left) and Venus (right). The best conjunction to be seen for years!
Hunting northern lights is an illusive sport sometimes. Looked outside. Yep it was there. In again on with the warm clothes, fetch the camera, outside again. Nothing. Well, I guess the moonlit mountains and a vaguely overexposed city of Narvik will have to do while I am waiting for the next chance… And now it’s a cloudy weather forecast for the next few days. Typical when the sun is active and there is most certainly bound to be some aurora activity…
Mrs. Luna captured 23 minutes ago over Ankenes.
I had the unspeakable pleasure of visiting Skagen Museum – the home of the Danish Golden Age of Art. Skagen is the very northern tip of Jutland with two Oceans meeting. This gives a rare and quite magical light, which inspired the artist community, mainly of painters, but also poets, which steadily expanded in this area. Inspired by the new romantic era in Europe, where finding the “original” the “mystical” and mans struggle against nature became currents that dictated the art, Skagen was a perfect setting. A small community struggling to maintain the daily life, mainly by fishing in some of the wildest seas.
Skagen Museum is a must see! This Treasure Trove of fantastic art was a real eye opener for me. One thing is seeing all these famous paintings on TV or in magazines, quite another is to actually experience the light, the painters strokes and dimensions in “real life”… And being a public museum, they allowed photographing – without flash of course (flash-light will over time ruin the light-sensitive pigments in the painting). So I shot and looked and shot again. Mainly to perhaps pick up a few pointers for my own paintings.
Here are a few for you to enjoy – BUT like I said, this is a must see, so if you ever plan a trip to Denmark, make sure your calendar is open for a visit to Skagen, both to experience the nature first hand, but also see this – luckily – public display of some of the World’s Greatest Paintings!
This HDR-photo is the result of playing with lights and shadows in various forms and presentations. It is great fun once you master it. The high dynamic range in these kind of photos brings out details you otherwise wouldn’t notice. The process is quite tedious though. First I shoot 7 RAW images. Then I use my own recipe on these photos through Canon Digital Photo Professional and batch process them into jpegs. Then they are processed in an HDR-system and that’s where the real magic happens. All the over- and underexposed pictures are sandwiched together, making it possible to tinker with a huge range of settings. Finally, when the tinkering is done and I find the result exciting, it is all processed into a single jpeg-file.
Here is today’s result. A quite mondane shot of the Narvik peninsula surrounded by the fjord and the mountains beneath a rugged sky with intermittent clouds. A “little” RAW and HDR processing, and voila! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! If so, please hit the like buttons or write me a comment!
This snapshot was taken a few minutes ago. 300 mm lens and a polarization filter.
I designed the logo on the front page of the new homepage for the aeroclub in Narvik. It says: Save Narvik Airport Framnes -fly for life!
A few politicians and moneymen in Narvik have decided to shut down this airport and effectively cut off the population from a vital air ambulance service which saves hundreds of lives every year.
Furthermore this airport, in spite of politicians trying to strangle it by restricting commercial flights, actually has a nearly 10% annual growth in passenger traffic.
And finally it is the hub for a vibrant aerosport club. Please visit their brand new website! http://narvikflyklubb.no/
Just wanted to throw in a few more shots from tonights flight. The first we are appr. 1,000 feet and downwind ENNK (Narvik Airport). In front port side Ankenes and Fagernes and the prominent mountain “The Sleeping Queen” in the background.
Yet another shot from tonight, along with an Army Bell 412 Special Performance which took a few lowpasses over the airstrip and a DASH 8 with a short stop to change passengers.
In the capable hands of Captain Utnes I had the rare and beautiful chance of finally get some air under the wings! A short, but lovely flight this evening. Calm weather and few clouds was the setting of seeing the city of Narvik from above with the city lights. Usually that is just passing by in a few seconds coming in or going out by the commercial flights. Howering in a small Piper Cherokee over the city gives a very different feeling and gives quite a different feeling than the “glorified busrides” a commercial liner has to offer. And when flying together with a pilot with 30 years flying experience is also a treat. Seeing how he reads his instruments, trims the plane and handles it by the book and more is a brilliant experience. And kudos, exactly when the rear wheels touched the runway the stall light gave a short indication. That is the hallmark of a perfect landing and usually says quite a lot about good piloting! More pictures will be published as I have a chance to process them.