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