NOAA 2002-R609
Contact: Jana Goldman
NOAA News Releases 2002
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Timothy L. Crawford of Idaho Falls, Idaho. was killed Aug. 2 when his plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off of the coast of Martha's Vineyard, Mass. Crawford, who was the Director of NOAA's Air Resources Laboratory's Field Research Division in Idaho Falls, was flying the light aircraft Long-EZ conducting atmospheric research. He was the only person in the plane. The accident is under investigation by federal authorities.

"We are deeply saddened by Tim's death," said David L. Evans, NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research. "The personal loss is coupled with the loss of his special capabilities in studying the atmosphere. The particular project he was engaged in was uniquely NOAA – trying to better understand the interaction between the air and the ocean."

Crawford was on a flight as part of the CBLAST-Low (Coupled Boundary Layers Air-Sea Transfer Light Wind Research Program) which was measuring low-level turbulence off of the shores of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.

This was the second year for the experiment – last year's was conducted from late July to early August off of the south shore of Martha's Vineyard. Twenty missions were flown during the 2001 program. This year, flights were to be flown for about three weeks in August. The project was put on hold following the accident.

Data collected were to be used to better understand the air-sea interaction processes – how energy is exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean.

Crawford joined NOAA/ARL as a physical scientist in 1986; prior to that he was a research analyst and an environmental engineer for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Crawford held a Ph.D. M.E. in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics from the University of Waterloo (1977), a M.S. C.E. in Air Resources from the University of Illinois (1972); and a B.S. M.E. in Thermal Sciences from the University of Illinois (1971).

He was the recipient of numerous recognitions during his federal career, including the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal and NOAA Administrator's Award, both for design and application of airborne instrument system.

Crawford constructed five experimental aircraft and held FAA aircraft builder and commercial instrument pilot licenses. He was a member of the American Meteorological Society, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, American Geophysical Union, and the Experimental Aircraft Association.