What’s That in the Sky? NASA Conducts Low-Altitude Flyover Above Fresno - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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What’s That in the Sky? NASA Conducts Low-Altitude Flyover Above Fresno

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The NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center conducted an air quality field study Wednesday over Fresno using its "flying laboratory" DC-8. (GV Wire Composite)
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Don’t be alarmed about the low-flying aircraft flying overhead on Wednesday — it’s all for science.

The NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center is conducting an air quality field study, according to a news release.

While the circling DC-8 may be loud, NASA says the flyover is conducted at a safe altitude. Those with sensitivity to noise should be aware, the agency says.

NASA Provides the Curious With Real-Time Tracking

The public can track the jet’s flight path here. The agency last conducted a similar flyover in August 2023. The DC-8 is essentially a flying laboratory. Based out of Edwards Air Force Base, scientific communities throughout the world can access the data collected by NASA.

The jet’s 5,400 nautical-mile range can allow it to fly up to 12 hours stints, but most missions average six to 10 hours.

On the website, Flight Aware, one can see the circular journey. Flight data show the aircraft peaking no higher than 7,700 feet in the air, far below the jet’s maximum altitude of 42,000 feet.

NASA’s DC8 flight path over Fresno, Clovis, and Madera County, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. (FlightAware)

Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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