Going For Cold

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It’s going to be a chilly 45 degrees in normally balmy Savannah, Georgia on Monday (near freezing overnight) so you can understand why those with access to the latest Gulfstream business jet might want to get out of town. But you might be surprised to learn that they flew to the very source of the nasty cold snap that’s gripping much of North America. Test pilots and engineers from Gulfstream Aerospace hopped on a G500 test aircraft on Saturday and flew to Timmins, Ontario (population 10,000), hometown of country music star Shania Twain and frequently one of the coldest places on the planet. When they landed, it was about 30 degrees below zero. A few hours later it was -40 so it was perfect for their mission.

Whether they lost the coin toss, drew the short straws or simply wanted to see the Shania Twain Centre,  (actually demolished three years ago to make way for an open pit gold mine), the crew will spend a few days making sure the G500’s systems will function in case someone needs to go to someplace like Timmins to, say, check on their gold mine. The local airport manager snapped some photos of the gleaming state-of-the-art bizjet, which is parked on the ramp inviting nature’s cold wrath and sent them to the local community Web site mytimminsnow.com operated by the local radio station, Moose FM. Most of Canada is under an extreme cold warning for the next day or so and assuming Timmins isn't miraculously spared the crew will be lighting up the avionics and cranking the engines at a crisp -41, not including the wind chill. The window is short, however. By Tuesday it will be about 0 in Timmins. Then, again, it will be in the low 70s in Savannah.

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