:: BEAR 2 - Flight Synopsis - Another Success Story::
We launched at 10:11am on July 29 - as scheduled. Unfortunately, we lost the APRS beacon about 30 minutes into the flight and with it, the ability to track the flight path. During the first 60 minutes, we heard occasional static bursts at the correct time period (45 seconds) that probably represented the APRS beacon but we were unable to decode. The APRS beacons sounded strange. Best guess is the antenna got ripped off during the ascent and probably by the payload line. As a result, we don't know where the balloon went. However, the digipeater worked exceptionally well resulting in plenty of packet traffic between local hams and the Special Event Station manned by Bob (WL7GK) as well as state-wide ham to ham contacts. Through monitoring of packet traffic as well as Jerry (KL7EDK) sending test messages during the tail end of the flight, we conclude the digi was usable for the entire duration of the flight. All total, the best we can figure is the flight lasted A total of 3 hrs and 40 minutes, probably the last 20-30 minutes represented the descent on the chute. Based upon flight duration and preliminary ascent speed, the probable maximum altitude was near our BEAR 1 maximum (95,000+ ft.). Packet contacts on the digi included: Fairbanks, W1AW/KL7, Chicken, Tok, Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula, Nilkiski, Delta Junction, McGrath, and others (reports still arriving). The digipeater packet system performed exceptionally well and was a big hit to all that used it.