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What is this helicopter doing? March 3, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in D0.

IMG_1106I spotted this guy hovering behind the D0 outback building last week when I was at Fermilab. What the heck was it doing there? Practice?



1. Lucian - March 3, 2008

That is funny! I also saw it and I was annoyed that I did not have a camera with me. Indeed it had quite a funny flight pattern. If I get the picture right when I saw it it was going in the other direction. I think they were looking for something in that field…. What? I do not even have a clue …

2. gordonwatts - March 3, 2008

It was weird, right? I think (!?) I saw this once before… at first I wondered if someone had escaped from a nearby prison!? πŸ™‚

3. Camille B.-Champagne - March 3, 2008

There were definitely (multiple) helicopters over the site the night of November 2006 (or was it October?) where robbers on a high-speed chase with the police decided to gate-crash at Fermilab. But then it was pretty obvious what they were up to, with the emergency system relaying messages and such. It one of my best stories from stays at the village, but only fun a posteriori!

4. Luci - March 4, 2008

Please Camille do not remind me of that night. I missed all the helicopters fun because I was out of the lab, but I managed to bump together with a friend in one of the fugitives at 4AM….
This is a totally different story. I do think that in a way Gordon is right when he says that it looked like they were practicing flying. Or at least being interested in something on the ground. Who knows …. maybe with the congress cuts now land developers are getting interested in the real estate… 😦

5. gordonwatts - March 4, 2008

Holy crap, Luci!! I’m glad you are ok! That sounds like it was awful!

Developers have long been interested in Fermi’s lands — ever since the sub-divisions got close to Fermi land. Think of it: new property taxes, new people to spend at local stores, new buildings to build, etc. At the moment I’m sure this has gone into remission due to the lousy economy, but it will be back. If Fermilab looses its scientific mission the pressure will increase. On the other hand, I’m not really aware of another national lab being forced to close for reasons like this, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much… yet… πŸ™‚

6. Ike H - March 29, 2008

So, since I live just outside the lab, I had a chance to see these coptors a little closer than your picture. It turns out that they were replacing parts on the power poles. There was a crew in a crane up on the pole, and the helicoptor was lowering rather large parts down to them which they were attaching.

PS, with respect to development of fermi land, apparently developers are already talking about what they have planned for fermilab lands once the tevatron shuts off. A friend of mine was at some conference/meeting of DuPage Business leaders recently and told me he heard more about plans for Fermilab than just about anything else…even the lousy economy hasn’t stopped them from salivating over it apparently.

7. gordonwatts - April 7, 2008

Ike – thanks! next time I’ll have to walk a bit further back (it was a bit muddy that day) and see if I can see them working. I watch for a while and didn’t see anything.

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