We were rewarded for getting up early by clear skies around south-west Iceland, ensuring stunning views and much photo-taking, before we released the first dropsonde and turned away from Iceland where our view downwards quickly became obscured by low-level cloud.
The flight went smoothly, with all dropsondes working perfectly, and the data being transmitted onto the global transmission system and to the Met Office in record time by dropmaster Stuart. The only problems we encountered were due to flying at high-altitude for over 5 hours - the back of the plane got cold enough during the flight for water to freeze in the sink in the bathroom and Stuart, dressed in shorts and t-shirt, to have to borrow heat pads from flight-manager Allan to warm his feet up!
On returning to Keflavik we were informed that we were record-breakers - with a total flight time of 5h 49m 14s, this is the longest science flight flown by FAAM! At the hotel the scientists were greeted with news of the possibility of a similar flight on Monday, and so flight planning which had begun in their absence continued into the evening. At least one extremely tired scientist had her day made, when in the early evening, we received news from the Met Office confirming that our data had made it into that day’s weather forecasts. Whether these forecasts have been improved as a result of the additional data we collected will not be clear until the scientists return to the UK and perform the necessary experiments.