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Flying Scouts Bryde's Whale Survey- 2013




The Flying Scouts Volunteer to survey Bryde’s Whale in the Gulf of Thailand – August 2013

After a sucessfull survey flight of the Bryde's Whales during December 2012 , The Flying Scouts, Ed & Tom were kindly invited back to Samut Sakhon by Dr Kanjana, the original Dugong Marine Biologist (aka The Dugong Mother) to help survey this years newly arrived group of  Bryde’s Whales which migrate to the upper Gulf of Thailand every year.

This year the mission was to survey the entire upper Gulf of Thailand to determine the population count and general location.


HS-EAL was prepared for the mission before leaving Chiang Mai from Nok Flying Club with the excellent help of Papa Mike, and K. Sakhon the resident A&P.


All the necessary DCA and legal permits needed in order to conduct a low level aeriel survey, were obtained by Chiang Mai Flying Club on behalf of the Flying Scouts. Both Chiang Mai Flying Club and Nok Flying Club have been generous supporters of these missions since they started.



The base for the survey was once again Best Ocean Airpark, who graciously hosted HS-EAL free in support of the project.  K. Julasak, from Wings Over Asia, manages Best Ocean Airpark, he is a keen GA enthusiast and an experienced pilot in his own right. K. Sen, the airport Manager, and his staff provided valuable technical assiatsance, and took care of the liasion with Bangkok ATC, who were very nervous of our mission, so close to Suvarnabhumi approach.




The dedicated team of biologists from the Marine Cosatal Resources Department based at Samut Sakhon. To the right of Flying Ed, is Dr Kanjana,

a renowned expert on Dugongs, Dolphins and Whales. To the right of Dr Kanjana, is K. Phaothep who used to be based in Phuket, and has a long

standing relationship with the Flying Scouts on the Dugong missions.

First Flight.


From Flying-Ed
“Despite it being the middle of the monsoon season, we were incredibly lucky with the weather and general flight conditions.

After 20 minuets or so, we spotted our first whale. Mother and Calf. A tremendous monent, to be reunited with these gentle creatures.”



Our Survey Route.



Since the Flying Scouts were on a survey mission, they had to follow the planned area very strictly. +/-2degree headings with +/- 50 ft altitude. This is the only way a proper sceintific study can be applied to a given area.




This year, was a multi part mission. Out at sea, a boat was patrolling for whales as well, and coordinating the search area with the aircraft.




It is hard to see, but in this shot, the calf was circlying it's mother, and driving the fish ito her mouth, hence the presence of the concentric lines around her. These types of behaviour study are essential tools for greater understanding of these animals.





It is remarkable to see these huge animals sharing their habitat with us humans.




Flying Scout Tom, made this great summary video of the survey mission. Enjoy!




Pictures and video (c) 2013 Tom Potisit & The Flying Scouts.








































































































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