|Sunday 22nd September- some of us will try to fly the MAGPLANE
Received word in the morning that extraction by the RDTF helicopters will take place in the early afternoon so final analysis and bagging of soil samples is hurriedly accomplished. The crater team splits into 2 groups at this point with the first group going to Puerto Araona to attempt the launch of the Magplane and the second group remaining at the crater to conduct further magnetic surveys and biology work. The magnetometer team is joined by TimK as they made a further advance into the northeast to continue with magnetometer data collection and exploration of new areas. They found a pool full of caiman! This pool was later visited by the biology team many times because of the unusual flora and fauna that were found within - what can only described as - a biodiversity oasis. Compton and Holly lead the press team out to Palmasola via the Arroyo to document the activities of the biology team.
Once back in Puerto Araona Allen began to unpack the Magplane crates. The Araona have furnished him with what became the Magplane hanger - a formerly open structure now covered by tree bark. Airstrip preparation began immediately after it was determined that the runway surface was much too rough for the small scale wheels of the Magplane and its relatively light weight. PeterH initiates the airstrip preparation - eventually eliciting the help of all in view including Duglas, the leader of the Araona. The airstrip preparation consisted of general smoothing and removing as many grass tufts as possible over an area 10 meters by 100 meters.