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Issue 478, 4 March 2002

Plane spotters' delight

Environmental researchers Dr Jim McQuaid and Dr Alastair Lewis, who co-ordinated the project to test pollution levels over Leeds from a specially equipped German plane (Reporter 477, page 1) generated interest in their work from some unexpected quarters.

Plane spotters from around the country rang up to find out when they could see this unusual specimen, and there were excited exchanges on plane spotter chat rooms about its arrival in England.

Dr McQuaid explains: "The plane is apparently quite famous amongst plane spotters, as it has a long probe on its nose as part of its adaptation for scientific research. One man had already travelled twice to Germany to see it, without success, and he came all the way up from Gatwick to Leeds, where he did manage to get a sighting."

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