down the rotors on our chopper (809) following the abortive take-off and landing.
In an eloquent reminder of how best-laid archaeological plans can change overnight, our first flight of the year has been cut down to a 5 minute tour of Amman due to the sudden arrival of an unseasonably large cloud of dust from the Syrian desert. Having taken off in our UH-1 'Huey', the magnitude of the cloud soon became apparent, and our experienced pilot Lt. Colonel Husam returned to Marka immediately.
We are now back at base camp, eagerly watching the weather radars at http://oiswww.eumetsat.org/IPPS/html/MSG/RGB/DUST/EASTERNAFRICA/index.htm. With any luck the worst of the dust will have moved west overnight, and we'll be able to fly our planned route tomorrow.
Dust plumes (in pink) over Jordan as of 10am. Image from http://oiswww.eumetsat.org