Team Canada 2011

Team Canada 2011
Team pilots Mark Byrne, Chad Northeast and Dezso Vaghy

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Mark and I had left the planes with Hartley yesterday so todays trip was a light one. Starbucks stop as per normal and we headed to Site #4 to watch Chad practice. With the early morning sun skirting the right box line Mark held up a clip board as Nedim called for Chad. A solid practice round followed and with that flight in the bag Chad called it a day as far as practice was concerned.

We headed over to pick up Hartley from Site #3 and then on to Site #1 for the first of two F-11 flights today. The crowd was a bit larger as the contest started to ramp up. Chad was up in the number 2 position as I drew that number for him the night before. Sorry buddy!

Dez and Nell had to head home and stopped by to watch Chad’s flight and say goodbye.

The whole team, along with Paul Hepworth and Ivan Kristensen watched as the battery & sound test was completed and he took to the skies of Muncie. The weather was nice with clear skies and a gentle breeze. The flight was one of his better ones I have seen and he did the country & team proud. I was very happy for him.

His plane was picked for a complete processing and once done he headed towards the pit area pretty happy. You can only do so much (fly well) and the rest is really up to what the judges think.

He scored a 458 and although a seemingly solid flight to us, he was positioned well behind the pack:-(

With a few hours before his next flight we headed for lunch and a side trip the Wilbur Wright's Birthplace Museum. Heck there is an RC field right beside it as well!!! It was very interesting and a little piece of history I never knew was there.   

We arrived back at the AMA site well in advance of Chad's next flight at Site #3. He was cooling off in the trailer with Nedim as Agnes and Alev had gone into town. The other scores had been posted and he was somewhat taken aback at the scoring of his flight. Welcome to the worlds :-)

His second flight today was actually better than the first and I was very happy with it. Best he has done as far as I was concerned. He had put in two solid flights and put it all on the line. He scored a 470 something...can't quite remember :-) but was still trailing the pack as other scores were released.

When the dust settled he was in 16th position and missed the finals. We gathered around the RV for a debriefing and then off to dinner at Wild Buffalo Wings.  For some reason we were punished with an hour wait for our food order! It was not our day.

Finals start tomorrow!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rain Day became Practice Day

I met Mark downstairs at the complimentary breakfast buffet at 7 AM. Hartley was along shortly after and with all our own planes preloaded in his Ford F350, we headed to the practice site. Another quick Starbucks stop and we arrived safely at the field a half hour later.

We met some local fliers on arrival and proceeded to assemble the planes in the shade.  Soon the Liechtenstein contingent arrived and shortly thereafter Team Ireland also joined the group. With both Hartley and I there to practice for the AMA Nationals everyone got in the action.

Both Wolfgang, Stefan, Angus and Chad all pounded the F schedule as they will compete against each other starting tomorrow.  Shane Robinson was also practicing the F-11 elements as he received, for the third straight World’s if you can believe it, the duties as warm up pilot for the judges. 

Found this Irish YS tool :-)

I had not flown for almost a month and really needed some rust remover... I’ll be ok though. Hartley will fly Masters and he needed the practice as well.

We all flew our routines with a short interruption for one of the club fliers beat the airstrip up with a P-47 Jug. He flew it very well and we all watched another form of aerobatics displayed... it was a welcome break!
Angus's Valiant

We closed the place down and headed home around 17:30. A quick stop to grab the van and some steaks for dinner and we arrived back at Camp Canada for a “debriefing session”. The gals made it back from their overnight in Amish Country and had a great time geocaching, touring, buggy riding etc..

We headed back to the hotel after dinner and had a nice refreshing shower.... yes too much detail ... sorry.

Chad is up on Site #1 at 9:24 and we will all be there. Unfortunately a huge rain storm has flooded Dezso’s basement back home in Kingston so he has decided to get home to deal with that situation. I thank Dez for his dedication and efforts he put in to this team.

To the rack I go.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Preliminaries Day #4

Up and off to Starbucks for our morning coffee drinks... the gals in the place are starting to know us well by now! Mark wanted to put in an early flight so we headed for Site #4. This is the farthest southern flight line in the huge complex and is easily accessed by the paved roads around the facility.

I put Mark’s name down on the sign up sheet and we waited for his turn. We watched several different planes fly then waited out the last glow powered plane before he launched. Unfortunately the glow did the sequence almost twice due to the huge fuel tank it must have had.. 16 minutes easily!
Team Japan... spotless!

After some practice elements, time was moving closer to Mark’s flight this morning at  8:51 am. We packed up and headed to Hartley’s trailer to swap my plane out for Mark’s back up. Time was beginning to become a factor when we noticed Hartley’s truck was gone. He had moved Mark’s B plane to the #1 site. Great job HH to save us some precious moments.

The planes were quickly assembled and he was on the flight line with time to spare. The rest of the team & supporters arrived and Mark took to the skies in front of the judging panel. He had another good round with some minor errors but he was happy with his efforts. The team cheered as his wheels touched down and Hartley pulled out a “Go Canada Go” banner that got the judges laughing. All in fun of course.

Mark and the gang.

Dezo was up next and he too put in another solid round of flying. Once again minor errors but still very respectable. Another cheer erupted as he touched down. Overall I think Dez was happy with his efforts and learned a lot this past week.

Dez and the gang again.
As Chad was later in the day we headed into town for a bite to eat and a stop at Walmart for some hardware for Hartley’s trailer water connection. (minor valve leak temporarily remedied!) I drove in with Paul Hepworth who came down to support the team. Paul had a small electrical problem with his plane and although he had planned to fly in the Nationals next week, he came anyway! Now that’s support! (Turns our Ac Glenn is lending Paul a plane & radio to compete in the Nationals after all... Ac gets an official Team Canada Maple Syrup Sampler for being such a great person!)

Chad's turn.

Look who showed up!  Ivan with these new glasses. They are a new technology that show 45 and 90 degree angles.... imposed into your field of view... it's the next greatest training device for pattern :-)

Kelly, Robyn and Pat all took off in search of the Amish lands and were doing a mini "vacation within a vacation" type thing... shopping and sightseeing.

Chad was up in the afternoon and put in a good round with some very solid elements. He did had a few bobbles along the way on this flight. He was a bit apprehensive about the score but still came out strong.

Final scores for preliminary rounds are here.(in pdf format)

Chad completed this portion of the contest in 18th with a normalized score for his three best P rounds of 2710.10. Dez finished in 44th with a 2468.98 and Mark in 50th with 2441.73. The scores are fairly tight so a couple of points can propel you in either direction.. quickly! The top thirty pilots advanced to the next step in the competition on Sunday. They will fly once each at site #1 and site #3 respectively with one AM and one PM time slot.

With Chad moving on to the semi-finals I attended a meeting of the team mangers to draw the starting order for Sunday’s semi’s... I drew #2 for Chad. It’s up to Chad to bring his A game to the worlds and this is pretty much what he lives for aside from family of course.  We will all be behind him in the coming days.

We went home exhausted but plan to head to our practice field in the morning as both Hartley and I need to get in some practice rounds for the upcoming Nationals.

Both work and home life requires them to leave Muncie today.... Special thanks to Xavier and Spencer for helping to support the team over the last week. X-man was awesome on the camera and the flight line helping Dez!

More pictures added to the team site

Flight order for Sunday’s semi finals.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Preliminary Flight # 3

Life goes on and we all make small sacrifices to do attending World Championships:-) Today I missed out on my daughter Lauren’s 24th birthday. She understands my commitments and wishes the team great success via the new medium of Facebook and text messaging :-)

Mark and I were up early and hit the local IHOP for a quick breakfast before heading to site #4 for some practice rounds. Chad and Nedim were already there and we joined Andrew Jesky and the Australian Team members.

Chad made some changes and had a solid round as did Mark. The winds were very strong and an aggressive throttle was needed at certain points. If you relaxed for a second the plane would drift out very quickly. Mark put in a second practice round and I had a good chat with Junior Pilot James Nugent’s dad Dave from the Australian F3A team. We both agreed that the knowledge we can pass on to these juniors will accelerate their flying tremendously. The Australians really seamed to enjoy themselves this morning and also worked hard to get in that perfect flight. The winds had other ideas for all the pilots.
Dave gives the thumbs up as the Australians await their turn.
A $2.88 plane stand... brilliant!

Chad was up on Site #1 at 10:57 but it obvious that things were behind. Turns out a group protest letter by several countries was being discussed. Some teams felt that judging spreads on scores were rather excessive and want some clarity as to why and what, if anything, could be done to rectify their view of the situation. Cooler heads prevailed and after some discussion on procedural issues (protests) and the judging protocols flying resumed.

Chad put in a solid round and posted a raw score of 440.20. It was a little faster pace to his flight but the results were obviously positive. The team cheered when his wheels touched the ground. The afternoon was relaxed as we watched several flight and cooled down in the trailer... I have a new appreciation for air conditioning!!

Team Canada awaits Chad's sortie.

Mark was up next on Site #3 and he too had a good round. Minor errors but a clean flight none the less. He was pretty happy but wanted a couple do overs :-) He posted a raw score of 394.00

Dez followed Mark in the next group and in short order he too was churning up the skies with a solid round as well. Some minor in and out but still very respectable. Dez posted a 404.00 raw score and was also happy with the result. Some flyers did not handle the winds well and drifted out to 170 or more meters. I believe the judges would hammer these guys with lower scores :-( Today’s saying should have been “ Hold the line”!

As we packed up we heard that Chip Hyde had an incident with his back up plane on site #4. Turns out that the bolt holding the wing had stripped out and although he was able to complete the manouvers, he threw in a snap roll and... well the wing panel departed the aircraft! Chip did a great job of saving the plane with some deft flying and landed it with only minor gear damage... hey I think I have seen a similar photo shopped video on youtube! LOL.  (I am told there is video recorded by a smart phone... it should turn up soon.)
Wing damage to Chip's backup plane.

I am told the damage is repairable and they were awaiting the decision on just what could be done within the rules to repair it. If this plane flies tomorrow it will be with only 8 lives :-)

We gathered around the RV’s and had a brief social to catch up on the days events then it was off to dinner. We couldn’t decide on where to go as a group so we went our separate ways this evening.

July 29th times are:

Mark at Site #1 at 8:51
Dez at Site #1 at 9.33
Chad at Site #3 at 15:30

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Preliminaries Flight # 2

Chad was scheduled for an 8:24 am flight so we decided to meet the gals at Site #3 as they were heading towards Ohio for some geo-caching adventures. We arrived and Chad’s primary and backup were already assembled and ready for his flight. He was up second after Koji Suzuki.

The winds were favoring left to right and were not very strong on the surface. We watched a couple demo flights and then the days contest flights began. Our entire team, supporters and friends were there to support Chad with the exception of Xavier. We did not see him anywhere which was a bit odd for him as he is usually busy taking pictures. He did have dinner with the French team last night and I wondered if perhaps they took him hostage as their official photographer!

I spoke with Benoit and he did say he saw him around but was at the other flight line. He will turn up... maybe practicing for the Nats with Dezso’s backup :-)

Suzuki awaits the start.

Koji fired up the 170 Mid Rex but his engine was not running well. He did manage to keep it going and once he completed a couple maneuvers it seemed to settle in nicely. It may have been a concern as his flight was good but not strong. The winds were much stronger aloft.

Ready to fly.

Chad was up next and had some minor in out as the winds aloft and below changed with elevation. Some slight centering issues as well with some elements but also seemingly perfect ones (4/8 opposite) with others. He was mixed on the flight results but managed to score a 434.20 raw in front of this “A” judging panel.
Mark is planning a jersey swap with the Brits.

The team split up for the day as Mark does not fly until later this afternoon followed by Dez. We drove over to site #1 and watch Chip Hyde fly. He had some minor flaws but a good flight as well. The winds, although on the ground seemed lighter,  were definitely a factor this morning. Those pilots that recognized and compensated the changing conditions with elevation were not punished. Those that did not would score much lower.

We headed back to site #3 and watched both Christophe PLR and Andrew Jesky put in their second Preliminary flights. Both were solid and also had some minor in out issues. The spin rotation on Andrew’s second half of the final maneuver was much faster and more axial than the first half... at least to my eye... but then again I am not the judge :-) We will see how the judges liked it when the scores are published.

We then headed back to the hotel to charge Mark’s packs and I also started to put my Xigris together. I hope to get some practice in sometime in the next week before the Nats start although I am pretty focused on the team stuff at this point.

Mark preps beside Benoit.

We packed up and after grabbing the backup airplane from Camp Canada, we headed to site #1 for Mark & Dez’s second preliminary flights. The usual battery and sound check completed Mark took off. He had a pretty good flight going but the second half of the slow roll opposite wasn’t as smooth as he would have liked and some slight wings not quite level was also evident. A good flight but Mark obviously wishes he could re-fly the slow rolls again:-) Hey it’s a tough crowd here let me tell you.

Mark with some of our cheering squad!

Dez was up next and with Xavier calling, he put in the best round of P I have witnessed in a while. He exceeded my expectations and put in a very solid round. There were a few soft spots which we discussed after the flight but I was impressed... so much so I gave him the rest of the day off!

Xavier, Dez, Nell and Spencer after his flight.

We packed up and headed back to “camp” once again... yes there is a trend here and we are so thankful to have a place to meet, store our stuff and stay cool if required. After dropping Mark off I drove over to site #4 were Chip, Andrew and Chad all put in some practice rounds. Some very solid flying for sure and you could tell that the pilots were trying to present the best effort they could.

Back to camp and we had a great throw together meal.  Ok it wasn't that bad.... corn on the cob, combo burgers along with some very good chicken wings... a bit of everything as Pat emptied the fridge :-) Chef Hartley was in the kitchen tonight!

Tomorrow's flights for the team are:

Chad at Site #1 at 10:57
Mark at Site #3 at  14:57
Dez at Site #3 at 15:39

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Preliminary Flight #1

Out the hotel door early today and had our usual Starbucks stop en route to the AMA site. With Mark flying later we popped the seats up and took the girls with us. On arrival at site #3 Dez and Xavier were already busy prepping the planes. Dez would fly his primary and have his back up close by in case something went wrong during power up and battery connection.

Our entire team and it’s supporters came out to watch his flight and provide encouragement.  The planes voltage was checked and then once the judges were ready, the official starter gave the command to start. Xavier quickly and efficiently plugged in and carried the plane into the sound check circle. It was easily completed and the plane was repositioned for takeoff in front of the judging panel.

Conditions were close to perfect with clear skies and a light breeze. Dez had a solid flight pretty much on par with my expectations for the “first” round. Minor in and out with a couple geometry errors overall. A good start to the team’s flying today and one that Dez and the team can build on going forward.

We headed back to the hotel to grab Mark’s plane and my own TX that he will use for his backup plane. Kelly and Robyn were kind enough to do a juice run over to Walmart... man we go through fluids in this heat!

With the cooler replenished and the van reloaded we departed for Camp Canada to grab Mark’s back up plane. Once there Mark packed his plane over to site #3 a couple of hundred yards away while I drove:-)

Mark is close to his flight.

Mark prepped the planes and with Hartley’s help positioned them in the #3 ready box. He would be following Benoit Paysant-Le Roux whom was already waiting in the #2 ready box position. They too had their batteries tested like Dez’s earlier flight. With timer in hand I listened as the official timer said “START...your on the clock” and they swung into action. Sound check complete Mark took off on his first official flight. He seemed nervous at first but soon settled into a nice steady pace. Working hard to fix minor errors he had a solid flight going when some unintended rudder inputs softened the score for his stall turn. He kept going and finished strong. I think Hartley was more nervous then he was!

His plane was weighed and also randomly selected for re-processing which he easily passed. A great flight and I was happy that he kept driving to finish well.
We had a short team meeting as the flight roster times had been changed for the next three days. Seems the “invert method” does not work well with this many pilots :-) I gave everyone a copy of the new schedule and we retired to the trailer to cool down.

Although Mark’s flight was well under the time limit of 8 minutes there was some concern about the difference between my time and the official time... I spoke with the starter and Line Coordinator and we quickly resolved the discrepancy.
We debriefed Marks flight and then readied for a trip over to site #1 for Chad’s first competition round. The usual crowd had gathered and a repeat of the whole process unfolded. Chad put in a very solid flight and I was happy for him. He received a big cheer from the Canadian contingent that came out to support him.

Chad concentrates as the his flight approaches.

Back to the trailer for additional debriefing and a small social. The scores were posted not far from the trailer so several trips ensued. The results really don’t tell much aside from which judging panel scored the highest. The competitors true placing will be determined when he has flown in front of all 4 judging panels..... any pronouncements about who is in first is completely premature at this point in time.

CPLR brings out the crowd!
The French team pose for photos.

Our guys all put in good rounds today and have laid the foundation to help build the teams position in the coming days.

Ian Clark emerged from his scribing position and had a story to tell. Seems a plane had an ESC issue and caught fire at Site #3 in the afternoon. I believe it was one of the Norwegian planes and I am unsure if he had a backup.

We all had some laughs around the trailer and were soon joined by Harry & Rosemary Ells and Derek Koopowitz. Agnes Northeast and Alev Bek also arrived back from there side trip to West Virginia. Dinner plans were made and we all headed for the Outback Steak House and then “home” for a rest.

I have added two more picture links... Ola Fremmings as well as Xavier's Prelim pictures... I have to say that Xavier has done a great job capturing the moment. The shots of Canada's TM running across the grass were most captivating :-) 

July 27th Flight  Orders...

Chad is at Site #3 at 8:24
Mark at Site #1 at 15:48
Dez is also at Site #1 at 16:30

Monday, July 25, 2011

Official Practice Day

Today was our teams official practice day but unfortunately mother nature had other ideas. Low clouds and mist enveloped the Muncie area and the flying site was basically shut down. You could fly low but no vertical elements could be flown.

After a requisite stop at Starbucks we arrived at site #1 and saw numerous people milling about. As I mentioned the weather stopped the flights and we all waited patiently for the clouds to break. We headed over to Camp Canada and relaxed when the skies parted and the big orange thing arrived on que!  We quickly headed back over to the site and got the planes assembled and ready. The Brazilians were first up followed by China and then Belgium.

The Three Amigos at site #1

We then got our chance to have each pilot unofficially timed along with a courtesy sound check. I took careful note of the process and with assistance from Tim Jesky, Robert Gainey and Jerry Plyer I had the sound test pretty well figured out. Those guys could not have been more helpful and easily answered my questions regarding when the clock stopped and started during the sound test. This seems to vary at times hence my Q.

Mark readies his gear.

All our planes easily made sound (Max is 94db at 3 meters) and completed the practice rounds in under 7 minutes & 30 seconds. Max is 8 minutes to complete the last maneuver in both P and F schedules.

Chad was up first and to my eye, once again had a solid round. Very minor blemishes but hey... no one is perfect. Mark went second and also had a solid round with Hartley calling for him. Slight adjustments were suggested for the next flights later in the day. Dez was last up and put in a good round with some minor issues on a couple elements as well. He has improved steadily as we approach the first of four P-11 flights tomorrow and will be ready.

The last team to fly at the site was Chinese Taipei and once finished it was a team free for all for practice rounds. After a short discussion regarding a sign up sheet versus the existing rotation we followed Brazil’s Carlos Haub and Belgium’s Bert Delaere and got in several flights each before pulling the pin on the practice session.

Team Canada and supporters.

The teams all formed up for a short march on to the grass area beside site #3’s entrance. With anthems playing the various teams marched in. We heard some nice short speeches by dignitaries and CIAM officials and then we were dismissed to a dinner and reception under the big tent. Lots of people enjoyed the meal and the odd libation.

Kelly toasts Team Canada!

The Team Managers met at the AMA Boardroom (Hartley came along in case I missed something:-) where we were brought up to speed on how the timing would be done, the planes sound checked, and impounded after for either weight or possibly a full inspection. All E powered planes will be weighted to negate the possibility of having heavier packs installed and thus fly over the maximum limit. A flight disqualifying no-no.

We also discussed the proper safety procedures regarding plugging in and the subsequent unplugging of batteries. The circuit must be open for safety reasons... hey it’s safe! :-)

Planes that failed sound checks would also be impounded following completion of their flights until the same packs could be fully recharged and the check done again.  Failure on the second attempt would nullify the flight score :-(

The rosters were published with the flight order and locations for the following four days. Based on the amount of entries there will be 27 Semi Finalists at this year’s event. We all received a nice booklet featuring all the team members and a short bio on each.
Managers at Site #1

The team managers all took a drive to both flying sites and had the locations of the pits, sound test and impound areas all clearly pointed out. Also the scoring facilities and other amenities of each flying site were discussed. In short order we were done and we headed back to Camp Canada to let the folks know when we would be flying.

Tuesday the 26th, 2011
Dez at site #3 at 8:39
Mark at Site #3 at 11:24
Chad at Site #1 at 14:30

I made sure everyone had the details as the team will be up early to support Dez in his first flight. That said it’s time to hit the rack... I am beat!

BTW I write this blog when I have time which is usually late at night when I am really tired! I try to cover everything that I can think of but as the days blend together I can make mistakes and well... can’t put two words together.... :-) This is why I go back and check the next day... to correct grammar and/or the infamous “run on sentence error”!

More pictures posted on Xavier’s folder.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Registration & Processing Day

Today was a rare event... a nice sleep in as our team registration and processing was at 10:35 in the morning. It was very nice!

With both planes loaded, we arrived early to the AMA building and set them up for inspection.  Chad and Dez also arrived and we were met by some familiar faces in Dave & Ron Lockhart, Andre Bouchard, Ron Van Putte and Joe Lachowski who work the various plane stations. 

Adding a last minute decal.

First the paperwork was separated for each of the competitors planes and I drew the pilot numbers out of a bucket. This will determine the flight line position and order that pilots will eventually fly. Once all the teams have been completed they will create a roster that will be given to us Monday night at the Managers meeting.

Chad is #49, Mark #41 and Dez #24 for rostering purposes. Next I was issued the Pilot and Team Manager bibs that must be worn during the competition. They are white with black trim and will match our uniforms perfectly.

Our FAI licenses were checked by Colleen Pierce and then taken for the duration of the contest... not sure when I will see them again :-) and I also delivered a Canadian Flag. We were all issued new AMA Licenses as well.

Each plane was subsequently checked for maximum wingspan & length, radio gear (no gyros!) and then each removable piece of the plane was affixed with a round decal with the competitors number on it. The official FAI sticker was also attached at this time.

Dave Lockhart takes a good look as Joe chats with Mark

The planes were weighed with batteries to ensure a maximum all up weight not exceeding 5 Kilograms (with an additional 1% margin for equipment error) and finally checked for failsafe function should TX power be lost during flight. Should the plane lose transmitter signal the throttle goes to off for safety. This is a simple test and is accomplished with the throttle up and the radio then turned to the off position. The motor should quit altogether. 
Xavier holds Dez's plane as Joe affixes stickers.

We needed to tweak Dez’s failsafe but once that was accomplished with the help of Chad, the team successfully completed registration and processing. We had both Hartley and Ian snapping pictures and with the main AMA building as a backdrop we took several team pictures. I’ll post them ASAP.

I have to commend the folks at processing as they did a great job getting us through. Very thorough, helpful and best of all friendly!

We grabbed a quick bite and headed to the practice field for more of the same :-) On arrival we could see that the weather was closing in so Mark put in a nice round followed by Chad but he bailed as the rains and winds hit again... he has bad luck with this! We packed up everything as Team Lichtenstein arrived to a huge downpour and gusty winds. We rode out the weather in our vehicles and in 30 minutes the system passed and we hit the skies again. The Irish team arrived and we quickly got in flights in our usual team manner.

An hour later it was time to head home as I was hosting a BBQ Social at Camp Canada for the team. Hartley and Pat graciously offered up their rig and with the help of Robyn, Pat, Kelly, Hartley and chef Marco we served up a steak dinner to the team, it’s supporters and our good friend Derek Koopowitz who just happened to stop by. I also took the liberty of inviting the Irish Team as well but they arrived a tad late due to various reasons. None the less we enjoyed the great company and everyone seemed to have a good evening listening to Ian crack jokes. As per normal we had a rain storm in the middle of it all just to cool us down a bit.

Post dinner social in full swing.

My “crew” get a big THANK YOU for making this happen... so good in fact that we will have to do it again... soon!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Practice Day #4

Our day started a bit different this morning as we headed to the AMA site to grab Hartley for the drive to the practice site.  A quick stop at Starbucks and we were on our way.

Our usual practice partners were hard at it on arrival and we quickly assembled planes and readied for the day. Dez had just landed as we introduced Hartley to the fellow fliers and support folks.

I watched closely as John Martin of the Irish team greased up the gears on his contra rotating prop assembly. Very interesting to see how it all went together.

John carefully pulls the prop assembly apart.

Managers can be very helpful!

The gals made a visit to our humble practice site and they finally had a chance to see some flying. They visited for a bit and then headed off in search of more stimulating entertainment:-) It apparently included lunch with margaritas.... nice.

We packed up and headed home as well, after dropping Mark at the hotel,  I took Hartley back to his camping spot at site #3. While there I picked up my plane box (for my Nats flying) and charger and headed back admiring the flags on his trailer. Looking good!

Back at the hotel we reloaded the coolers, planes etc and headed for the AMA site #3 for evening practice and our team meeting at “Camp Canada”. Weather was not looking too promising but the site was empty so Mark quickly assembled his plane and took to the skies. He got in a round of P and landed as the skies threatened and the lighting arced in front of us. Yikes! There was a bit of a lull so Chad decided to get in a flight even though he was a bit apprehensive.  He’s seen things go from bad to worse very quickly with the Muncie weather.

He started out with a solid figure M and well the rest look pretty much the same.... solid.  When he started to pull to vertical for the figure nine the plane took a big jog & roll. He bailed and landed immediately and then seconds later the sky opened up and the winds blew... good call on his part. We spent the next 25 minutes watching the rains come down with gusty winds.  The rains flooded the pit area and his plane looked like it needed floats!

Time for floats.

The sun reappeared and things settled down enough that the team could hold a meeting by the RV. We reviewed the schedule for the next few days and got organized for our processing Sunday morning and the practice & opening ceremony Monday. Ian and Cheryl Clark along with Cheryl’s great niece Lacey arrived and we parked their RV beside Hartley’s... Camp Canada just doubled in size!

Now Ian's a bit of a comedian... he told me his story about flying an Extra 300 the other day and loosing half a stab in flight. When asked if he managed to get the plane back safely, he replied "Oh yeah... after I found it in the field."  LOL

Flying was canceled as the skies once again opened up. Chad and Nedim headed back to the hotel early as Anges and Alev arrived safely.

We had a little social and then headed for an Italian dinner in Muncie.  Off to bed as we get a bit of a sleep in tomorrow as processing starts just after 10 AM.  That said I am hitting the shower and then bed.

BTW More pictures posted by Xavier and myself. Also added a couple more picture links and a USA Team blog by Cindy Wickizer.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Practice Day #3

A bit of a broken record folks but here we go... out the door and on the road at 8 AM this morning. Another quick drive to the flying site and our usual group of flyers hit the Indiana skies on yet another nice but hot day.

Mark took his backup airframe and made sure it was trimmed and ready to go should bad things happen. Chad also put in a flight on his #2 airframe and made sure it was set up. The air density here requires one to adjust radio settings in order to get the feel and crispness that you would get back home. Mark commented that his #2 actually felt better than #1 so he may swap it to be his primary for the event.... nice problem to have!

Chargers galore!

We also check the fail safe settings in all the planes as this is a requirement during official processing. All that will take place in the coming days ahead.

For those that didn’t look at Bulletin #3, the official registration time for Canada is Sunday the 24th at 10:35 AM and our practice time at site #1 is Monday morning at 9:15 AM. We will then move to site #3 for the opening ceremony and reception later that day.

We wrapped up practice around one o’clock and headed for lunch then back to the hotel to shower up... we have to be clean and smelling nice when the gals arrive later!

Pat & Hartley arrived at the AMA site around 3 o’clock in the afternoon after their week long adventures across the USA.  They set up the RV and then headed into Muncie for some supplies (wine perhaps?)

Camp Canada is on site!

We headed out to the AMA site #3 and started putting in rounds. Hartley was put to work calling for Mark and also had a chance to meet some of the competitors. Shane & Sinead from the Irish team along with Pablo Kuri from Ecuador were on site as well as the Lichtenstein contingent. The Taiwanese team also arrived and started flying as we wrapped up our day’s flying session.

Mark readies his Xigris under Hartley's watch full eye.

Robyn and Kelly arrived at 7 PM following their day visit in Toronto and subsequent flight to Indianapolis this afternoon. After checking in at the hotel they made their way to the field and joined Pat at the RV.  We finished packing up the plane we headed over to “Camp Canada” for a catch up on everyone’s day.

Nedim carries Chad's Xigris Evolution back after a flight. 

Chad & Nedim went to the Roadhouse with the Lichtenstein Team in tow. They also met up with Harry & Rosemary Ells and we joined them later as hunger was setting in. After a great dinner again we headed “home” to the hotel as the gals headed to Walmart for “stuff”.

Xavier has started to take pictures and will list a link under the Pictures section on the right side of the page. For you smart phone types in blog land it’s here.....