Team Canada 2011

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

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