Thursday, August 16, 2012

Airplane to Make Low-Level Flights Over Parts of Northern Sacramento Valley, California

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Residents should not be alarmed to witness a low-flying airplane over the northern Sacramento Valley and surrounding hills starting around August 17. 

For about two months, an airplane operated under contract to the U.S. Geological Survey will be making low-level flights over parts of northern Sacramento Valley, from the western margin to the eastern margin of the valleys.  The survey will cover as far north as the city of Shasta Lake and as far south as Stony Gorge Reservoir. The survey will cover the cities of Redding, Red Bluff, Orland, and numerous other towns in the area with the purpose of collecting and recording geologic measurements.

Anyone observing the low-flying plane should not be alarmed when they see it fly over or pass below the horizon. The airplane is operated by experienced pilots who are specially trained for low-level flying. 

This survey is designed to remotely study geologic and hydrologic units that lie below land surface. It is part of an ongoing USGS program to identify hidden features such as changes in rock types, ultimately providing a better understanding of the geology and hydrology of the area. 

The airplane is operated by Firefly Aviation of Calgary, Canada, which is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure flights are in accordance with U.S. law.

Editor:  In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project.  Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.

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