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** BEAR NEWS RELEASE - Hunting Guide locates the lost BEAR 2 balloon **

The BEAR 2 balloon, launched on July 29th in conjunction with the special event station W1AW/KL7 was lost due to suspected gps transmitter antenna damage. This was the balloon that contained the packet (digipeater) system which allowed amateur radio operators from across the state to communicate with each other. Although the packet system remained functional for over 3 hours while in flight, there was no way to receive APRS position reports and we presumed the balloon would be permanently lost.

On Sunday September 28, big game hunter Jaret Owens was guiding a hunting party (Ron Rockstad) in the remote area of the West Fork of the Little Delta River (Healy D1 quadrangle) when he spotted something blue and yellow on top of a nearby peak. Being curious, he hiked up to the location and noted the BEAR 2 parachute and payload capsules. Fortunately, all the capsules had ownership and phone numbers written on the outside so Jaret called Jerry (KL7EDK), and later called Dan (KL1JP) on his satellite phone informing us about his find. After returning to Fairbanks several days later, Jaret met with Jerry to return the balloon remnants.

Obviously, the BEAR launch team has been very excited about the recovery of BEAR 2.

 

Jerry (KL7EDK) presenting the story and circumstances of the BEAR 2 flight and subsequent recovery at monthly meeting of the Arctic Amateur Radio Club.

 

The BEAR 2 payload assembly as recovered and delivered to Fairbanks by Jaret Owens. Note the missing antenna on the top capsule (MT / GPS capsule). Our suspicions about the load line ripping off the antenna have now been confirmed.

 

Recovered Capsule 1 (MicroTrak 300 / GPS) APRS transmitter assembly which is in excellent condition - sans antenna.

Jerry (KL7EDK) showing recovered Capsule 2 (HTX 202 radio / KPC 3+ TNC) Digipeater assembly. Both the radio and KPC are in excellent condition.

 

Dan (KL1JP) generating maps showing flight path and altitude data while AARC members look on with curiousity.

 

 

" The Launch Team Is Absolutely Delighted In The Return Of BEAR 2"

To see the flight path map and the GPS info: Click Here