Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Contest - Sunday

A little more relaxed pace this morning as we headed out to the field at 7:30 am. We stopped along the way to take a picture of a road sign that we never see out west in BC.

The sportsman fliers had to finish up their 4th round before the scoring computer was ready to produce the results. Unfortunately Mother Nature decided to play another trick on us and enveloped the field in thick fog.... so thick even Dezso drove right by the field.... even with a GPS. Everyone milled around and talked shop about the Saturday results. Just after 10 the fog lift and quickly burned off. The flying started and we all enjoyed the morning sun.

The battles continued and the round 4 scores were finally posted. Mark had jumped into fourth place as I thought and this set the stage for FAI. All the classes had tight scores at the top so it was going to be a make or break day for most competitors. We all put in our 5th & 6th rounds under sunny skies and a light blow in wind that could not make up it's mind which way to fly. Most flew right to left with the odd exception. Both Mark and Xavier had good rounds and even I had a couple of nice once... yes shocking I know:-)

We were lucky to have the nicest charge station I have ever used. Thanks Ivan!

Harry called everyone over and made the award presentations after announcing the results.

Results are as follows.





FAI Prelims

The FAI competitors that signed up for the Team Trials will now fight it out for the chance to represent Canada in Portugal (2008) Their average score will carry forward and be counted in the best 2 of 3 with two F-09 rounds flown Monday.

After the flying ended the FAI pilots kept their planes out in order to practice F-09. Both Mark and I did a couple rounds... including my patented "Low Knife Edge Loop Pass" :-)

I'll be uploading pics shortly.... off to bed now.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Contest - Saturday. (updated)

A six o'clock start today as we need to be up to the flying site early. Harry had all the gear loaded for his CD duties so they led the way up.

29 competitors arrived to battle it out for National honors and the beginning of the Team Trials. The grounds were awash from the previous nights rain which unlike BC, stays on top of the clay and awaits evaporation. There were numerous wet patches all over the field and impound that everyone walked around, over, or through. Wet feet was the order of the day but at least we know it's clear skies for the rest of the contest. By Monday it should be dry :-)

CD Harry Ells gave the pilots the lowdown on the event and reviewed some of the rules for judging. The hot topic was the pause after the 2/4 in the first manouver in P-09.

Mark was first up in FAI and put in a solid round. The 11 other FAI pilots followed suite as the other flight line catered to the remaining classes. Jeff Stevens kept the flight lines & judging order going.

The pilots rotated through judging assignments and the rounds went by pretty smoothly. Paul Hepworth had his plane go into failsafe on the trim pass but managed to get it back down ok. He was unable to sort out the problem so the plane was grounded.

Chad easily outdistanced the rest of us with solid rounds in FAI. As the winds were a blow in from the North West several people struggled to maintain distance. Ivan returned to the skies as well and it was a pleasure to watch those great stall turns he does. (I always remembered those from the 2000 Nats in Vancouver, BC) He looked like he was enjoying himself.

Sportsman flyer Ethan Chariandy, whom just passed his wings test, was doing very well from what I observed. (He got a bullet in round 1!) Watching his dad call for him reminded me a little of my past flying with my own son. Ah... memories. Phil Stang leads right now going into round 4.

Scott McNaught and Bert Armstrong have a real battle going in Intermediate with only 7 points separating them after 3 rounds. It's going to be another tight race.

Advanced has Bev Cowell out front but there will be pressure applied by both Jim Eichenberg and Ross Erwin on Sunday.

In Masters we have a great battle between Steve Miller and Ken Velez going. It will start to shake out after the rounds get dropped but Ken is coming on strong after having major TX problems. Seems his TX fell over while being charged in the vehicle en route. The charge plug broke and a short was created within his TX. Suffice to say the TX was "unserviceable" after the melt down period. He used his backup TX (for foamies) and trimmed during the first flight this morning. Tim Pascoe was having wheel issues as his plane shed them on landing.... too wet to glue them on. (Harry has a fix for him though)

We managed to almost complete 4 rounds with the Sportsman fliers to finish up in the morning.

Scores after 3 rounds (4th not completed yet.)





FAI P-09

Once the fourth round is posted things will change again. Mark should move up as he had a solid 4th round... Xavier had a great 4th round going too but had snap switch issues (seen that movie myself!) It will be a tight race going into Sunday. As Chad said... it ain't over till the large lady sings... hang on tight!

I have struggled with my own flying today and my scores reflect that. Consistency and execution have been my nemesis this season and it has become quite frustrating frankly. I'll give it my best shot tomorrow and try and improve my flights. In the meantime, Mark is in the hunt for a team spot so I'll do my best to help push him through.

After the flying ended we packed up and headed to the Peterbourgh Boston Pizza for dinner.

I have been going for 16 hours now and I am completely beat. Type later.

New Pictures posted.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday.. and the rains came!

August 29, 2008

Out of the rack at 7 a.m and joined the rest of the folks for breakfast. The weather was going to be an issue as we could not see past the edge of the side yard. Low cloud, fog & drizzle enveloped the house.

Harry was having connection problems with his new provider and was hunting down the problem… router reset etc. In the meantime Master Chief Marko Mechanico created a great scrambled egg dish that we all enjoyed. I handle the toast prep under the watchful eyes of Chef Marko. “Toast ready?” he asked..... “Yes Chef” I barked back.

With the vans loaded up we headed north to the Lindsay field with some trepidation. The weather was poor at best for our purposes but we hoped for a break later in the day.

Ivan and Diane Kristiansen, along with Chad Northeast arrived in their beautiful Dutch Star Motor coach. They had to do some maneuvering to get down the access road and into the parking lot but Ivan made it look easy. The Honda van, loaded with pattern planes, made for the ultimate tow vehicle behind the RV. Hope my wife doesn’t see the pictures!

Xavier Mouraux & Dezso Vaghy also arrived and we spent an hour or so under the canopy catching up on news and travel exploits. The weather improved little so they head into town for lunch. Richard Vignealt and his wife also arrived from Sept Iles QC but headed out after surveying the weather from the comfort of their van.

We hung out at the field and rested in the van awaiting the weather to lift. Our mini van has a neat back up camera built into the dash… check out this shot.

We had a nice visit with Ivan and Diane in their motor coach. I even had a little tour and was most impressed with the layout of the RV.

The skies eventually started to clear and Mark was the first one up after weighing his plane numerous times. The ceiling was still low so, after disappearing on a vertical, he opted for some trim pass and “lower air work”. Everyone else started to assemble planes and prep for some practice rounds.

With all the flyers present it was suggested to fly two flight lines but after some discussion we elected to just fly one. Everyone was ready and the flights progressed smoothly. Ivan had an issue with a bad lead on one of his stab servos and needed some repair time. Once fixed, he took to the skies and we all enjoyed seeing him back flying pattern again. He still has the hands!

I flew two practice rounds and Mark managed another 2 as well. The guys are all stoked for the competition tomorrow and a few had game faces on. It will be fun if nothing else!

We headed back to Harry’s place to prep dinner for everyone as we were preparing BBQ hamburgers with sweet potato (yam) fries. Charging was all done so its off to the rack for all of us… up at 6 tomorrow!

More pictures posted at

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Practice Day

Up at 7 a.m. to finish charging packs…. It never ends! We followed Harry & Dan North to the flying site and set up for the days flying. We were greeted to windy conditions out of the South –Southeast but the temperatures remained relatively comfortable.

Dan gave Harry a hand with the marker poles as we set up our planes. After a trip into Lindsay for more paint, Harry finished spraying in the box lines and then they headed back to the farm as Harry had chores to do. Dan elected not to fly as he was awaiting his supplies that he had shipped from Lethbridge.

We had a good day and managed 6 rounds each before our fatigue started to take its toll on both our bodies and flying quality. We packed up early and headed back to Harry’s place to recharge packs and get cleaned up. Mark and I also took a side trip into Cobourg and purchased several wines for our gracious hosts. The downtown core is a very neat spot to walk around.

We were treated to a great BBQ steak dinner with fresh corn, potatoes & tomatoes … I love the farm life! The rains have now started so hopefully they will move through tonight.

Mark is going to prepare a delicious scrambled egg dish in the morning so we will be ready for the day. As the planes stay in the vehicle we will be able a quick departure in the morning.

By the way, Mark is flying really strong and I fully expect him to give Chad a run for his money and take home the top spot on the team.

Mmmmmm,,,,, never leave your computer to check batteries…. Seems someone snuck in a comment re: their flying.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The trip out...

Up early as Mark & Robyn picked me up at 20 past 4 in the morning. As Mark and I are traveling on a pass, the loads out of Vancouver to Toronto were hammered so we elected to jump over to Calgary to connect to YYZ. The check in was seamless and our flights all connect well with on time departures all the way. Chad and Dan are three hours ahead of us as they caught the 7:30 am flight out of Calgary. Dan will be waiting for us and will hitch a ride to Harry’s place near Cobourg. Approximately 75 minutes drive from the airport.

Chad will be staying with Ivan and Diane tonight and then using their motor coach as he gave up a spot for Dan.

On arrival in Toronto we met up with Dan, picked up the rental van and away we went to Cobourg. We had stop & go traffic for 50 kms…. hey it’s rush hour… then, after stopping at Wal-Mart for supplies we headed to the Ells Farm.

We started to assemble the planes and after a break for a great dinner, finished the assembly job and continued to charge our packs. BTW They arrived just after 2 P.M. in great condition.

We will be on our way up to Lindsay in the morning to check out the field and help Harry get set up. There is no internet at the field.

Off to bed now.

BTW New pictures posted. I'll do captions later :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here we go again!

Well once again we have dismantled the planes and packed them for the trip to Ontario. The Canadian National Precision Aerobatics Championship and Team Trials will go this coming weekend. I will have limited access to update the blog but I highly doubt that you will see the up to the minute reporting that you may have witnessed from the US Nats. I was just a spectator at that time so updating was easy. This will be different ;-)

Pictures will be uploaded when I have the chance to the Picassa album. The link is on the right side at the top.