San Pedro de Atacama to Antofagasta to La Serena, Chile 27 - 28 Jan 2006

Meeting Swiss earthrounders in the air


Logbook index

We had only added the minimum amount of fuel in Arica, to be light for the high altitude take-off from San Pedro de Atacama with it’s 8’000 feet elevation, which with high temperatures results in density altitudes close to 11’000 feet. For this reason, we stopped for refueling in Antofagasta, which is at sea level. After departing, and while listening on Antofagasta radar frequency, an N-registered Cessna made his initial contact. Soon after, Antofagasta radar called HB-DVN to pass us on to Santiago radar. The Cessna then called us: ´Is this Flemming? It is Reto and Trude! Where are you heading? We are heading for La Serena!´. It was another pair of Swiss earthrounders Godly Wings, who were touring South America like us! We answered back: ´Godly Wings from Honeymooney, we are heading for La Serena too, let us have dinner together tonight!´ So four Swiss earthrounders met up in La Serena that evening for lots of wine, fish, and flying talk about South America.
The next morning Reto and Trude (who only had 2 months for the South America round trip and had to move on quickly) left for Pucon in the Lake District south of Santiago. We went to the airport to see them off, and continued by car to the ESO (European Southern Observatory) La Silla observatory on top of a 2500 m mountain north of La Serena.
While waiting for the gate to open for the weekly Saturday afternoon public tour, we got an SMS message on the Iridium phone from Wojciech Mirski, who told us that his Chilean wife Eliane was headed for Santiago, Chile in the middle of next week. We called him up, and soon it was arranged that she could bring a new laptop with her from our garage in Peney-Dessus to Santiago to replace the old laptop that was stolen in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
During the very interesting ESO La Silla tour, we visited the NTT telescope and the 3.6 m telescope designed by a project group located at CERN, Geneva in the 1970’s. In 68 - 72, Flemming worked for a Danish company Regnecentralen A/S, and designed a numerical position controller for a small Danish 50 cm telescope, long since decommissioned, but the telescope building is still there.

Valley of the Moon after departing San Pedro de Atacama

Short final for runway 11 in La Serena

Pisco sour sundowners with Trude and Reto Godly

Trude and Reto before their departure for Pucon in front of their Cessna 185

We were not flying today, but heading by car to La Silla observatory

Approaching the La Silla mountain it becomes obvious why it is called 'The Saddle'

View of the La Silla telescopes from the top of the 3.6 m telescope

The NTT (New Technology Telescope, active mirror shape control) is to the right

The ESO 3.6 m telescope was designed by the ESO 3.6 m project team located at CERN in Geneva in the 1970' s

In the early 70's, Flemming designed a numerical position controller for this Danish 0.5 m telescope while working for Regnecentralen A/S in Denmark

JAlbum 6.2 Copyright: Angela & Flemming PEDERSEN