Sunday, November 11, 2007

Day One ... by Dave

Out of the rack at 05:45 in preparation for day one of competition. Now this is about the time when our team manager Harry Ells is heading towards the flying site in the dark carrying his team's transmitters. This is the downside to the team managers position because each and every day that a team member competes, his TX must be in impound by 06:30 I believe. I am sure Rosemary deserves a medal as she does the driving!

I met up with Mark in the hallway after he returned from his 04:30-06:00 blog & e-mail session. Mark also did some tech work for Duralite as well. We loaded the car with our gear then headed for the buffet breakfast in the hotel. We were joined by our spouses and fellow team members.

We departed the hotel at 0700 for the twenty minute drive to the flying site. Chad had already gone ahead as he was scheduled to fly at about 07:50. We all arrived in plenty of time to help support him and cheer on our team mate. Harry handled all the logistics of picking up the transmitters etc so we had time to relax once our planes were put together.

Chad gets into the mental game.

Things progressed at a steady pace and I was pretty calm for the most part. We watched Chad fly first and then Dez follow with both returning to cheers from the massive (well ok... massive sounding) Canadian contingent!

As my flight time was approaching I tried to concentrate on the elements and went through the sequence numerous times using my Precision Aerobatics Tia Chi .... you know the right hand becomes the airplane and you fly it around the sky kind of routine.

The planes were first checked for correct voltage (see Chad's get checked on left) and when the previous plane landed, Mark packed my airplane over for the sound check. I applied full throttle (with the sound guy watching my every move to ensure compliance!) and I passed the sound test... never did see my db. (94db on pavement is the limit)

It was show time and I quickly went about my business and posted a fairly good first flight. Some in and out for distance but I managed to control it fairly well. Some of my roll rates were inconsistant and I'll work on that next flight. Mark did a great job of calling and has been an incredible help for me on this trip.

We met up with the US squad and had a group picture.

All in all a pretty good start for me and a lot of the "mystery" was quickly removed. I have not seen my scores yet as they are having some issues getting all the data out. I look forward to tomorrows flight.

As both Kelly and I have spent years in pipe bands performing at Remembrance Day services, we are remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrafice so we can live in freedom. We understand even more the importance on this day.

Lest we forget.

Round One In The Books

Well it's been 14 months since the 2007 Team Trials in Victoria and the guys finally took to the skies in Argentina today representing Canada here at the F3A World Championship.

We were greeted to a clear cold morning but once again the winds were blowing 90 degrees into the pilots. Chad was the first Canadian pilot to fly at around 8:00am and although he put in a good flight I'm sure he'll agree that there were a couple of elements that he wish he could have back. No worries as we all know how Chad seems to turn it on strong after day one and will step it up.

Dezso was next up and flew a consistent flight as the temperature warmed up and the winds started to decrease a bit. Fellow F3A pilot Xavier Mouraux making his first trip to the worlds was handling the duties of helper for Dezso as well as the photo expert of the team. Here's a photo of Xavier taking a break from behind the lens while he gets ready for Dezso's flight

My good buddy Dave finally reached his goal of flying at the worlds and it really made me proud to stand behind him on the flight line while he flew. I actually had a hard time calling out the maneuvers which Dave and I have down to a couple of words as I got kinda choked up about the experience. Dave flew well in the conditions and did the team proud with his first attempt at this level of competition.

As you can tell on Dave's face he is one happy camper!! The raw scores are a little behind as Chad and Dezso have theirs while Dave hasn't got his yet. I don't know if they are on the net yet as there was some delay in getting the results out.