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LeRoy Meisinger, Part II: Analysis of the Scientific Ballooning Accident of 2 June 1924

LeRoy Meisinger, Part II: Analysis of the Scientific Ballooning Accident of 2 June 1924 During the spring of 1924, U.S. Weather Bureau meteorologist LeRoy Meisinger conducted a series of experiments with a free balloon to determine the trajectories of air around extratropical cyclones. The 10th flight in the series ended with a crash of the balloon overcentral Illinois. Both Meisinger and the pilot, Army Air Services Lt. James Neely, were killed.An effort has been made to reconstruct this accident using information from a review article by early twentieth-century meteorologist Vincent Jakl and newspaper accounts of the accident. The principal results of the study follow.Meisinger's balloon was caught in the downdraft of a newly developed thunderstorm over the Bement, Illinois, area on the evening of 2 June;a hard landing took place in a cornfield just north of Bement, and loss of ballast at the hard-landing site was sufficient to cause the balloon to rise again; andafter rebounding from the ground, the balloon with the two aeronauts aboard was struck by lightning. A fire resulted that burned through the netting and led to a crash four miles northeast of the hard-landing site. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society American Meteorological Society

LeRoy Meisinger, Part II: Analysis of the Scientific Ballooning Accident of 2 June 1924

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0477
DOI
10.1175/1520-0477(1995)076<0213:LMPIAO>2.0.CO;2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

During the spring of 1924, U.S. Weather Bureau meteorologist LeRoy Meisinger conducted a series of experiments with a free balloon to determine the trajectories of air around extratropical cyclones. The 10th flight in the series ended with a crash of the balloon overcentral Illinois. Both Meisinger and the pilot, Army Air Services Lt. James Neely, were killed.An effort has been made to reconstruct this accident using information from a review article by early twentieth-century meteorologist Vincent Jakl and newspaper accounts of the accident. The principal results of the study follow.Meisinger's balloon was caught in the downdraft of a newly developed thunderstorm over the Bement, Illinois, area on the evening of 2 June;a hard landing took place in a cornfield just north of Bement, and loss of ballast at the hard-landing site was sufficient to cause the balloon to rise again; andafter rebounding from the ground, the balloon with the two aeronauts aboard was struck by lightning. A fire resulted that burned through the netting and led to a crash four miles northeast of the hard-landing site.

Journal

Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Feb 22, 1995

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