Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Practice Day 3

The team met up for our now usual 7 am breakfast and then loaded up the cars for the trek to the practice site. 

Kelly and I went over to the Casa Bianca World's site to check on the location for both processing and registration tomorrow.  (It is an easy 8 minute drive from our AirBnB) With our dates and times now published, we wanted to fully scope out the amazing facility. 
Andrew Palmer gets ready for a morning sortie.
We wandered around the parking lot meeting up with Andrew Palmer from New Zealand and Lassi Nurila from Finland.  After a bit of snooping, we discovered the registration table and met Paola Battinia the event secretary.  She was just setting up her station for registration so we will be back later tomorrow to officially register the team. This place is very pretty with beautiful gardens and hedges, kids play area, adults play area (RC field!), a bar and restaurant and some zoo animals as well! Even some full scale jets! I'll have more on this in the coming days.

We then headed to the practice field and met up with John and the rest of the crew.  Lots of pilots this morning so much slower pace. France, Russia, Brazil, Britain and Canada all took turns flying.  I took some pictures of the other team's planes as fights progressed.
Nice to see our flag flying! Great hosts at this practice site!

As we waited to fly, I managed to get most all the paper work done for the registration of the team. This is when they will check FAI licenses, Specification sheets for each airplane and reconcile any outstanding monies owed.  
Unknown to us, John had stopped and picked up some croissants for a treat and sandwiches and so we all enjoyed a nice lunch mid day.  The guys all got in a second flight but Henry was done at this point. The extra flying for the Grand Prix was taking it's toll. Kelly and I decided to return back early so Henry followed us home. 
Back at the AirBnB, Henry started unboxing his back up plane. All the guys will need to have both planes checked at processing for compliance. They will be weighed, measured and sound checked to ensure the meet the rules which are straight forward... can not exceed 5KG, can not exceed 2 meters in length or wingspan and cannot produce more than 94db of sound. (electric powered aircraft can not exceed 42.56 volts)
The boxes are a work of art.
Looks like it made the trip just fine. 
Henry is ready for processing.
Henry had the planes now ready to load up so, after spending a few minutes working on the loading puzzle, we soon had Henry's two planes safely in place. A bit of foam here and there and he is set!
Dinner was just down the street at Maragoncello... it was excellent Italian food $$

Also good news for the Japanese Team as their plane boxes have been found and retrieved! 

That's it! My bed is calling .....   official processing tomorrow afternoon for Team Canada

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Practice - Day 2

06:30 alarm and off to shower... it's dejavu!

Breakfast with the team then we headed off to Site 6 for practice.  Kelly and Agnes are taking the VW and going to the lake and "possibly" some shopping today. 😱

I rode shotgun with Chad out to the practice field and watched the action from the TM’s chair :-)  John met us there and we assembled the planes in the back parking lot. The front was filled up with Team France 🇫🇷 

We watched Arnaud Poyet, Jr pilot Sasha Muller, Christophe Paysant Le Roux (with his new Oreka) and Cedric Carayon and then our guys followed with Michi, Chad and Henry all getting in a practice flights. As both Henri and Michi have been hard at the flying since last Thursday, I had them take it easy today with only a few flights and a more relaxed pace. Well I tried to!

The Russian team was also present and the Japanese team members came buy for a field inspection. Unfortunately no Japanese planes made the trip according to my “source”. The rest are inbound on the next flight. I am also told no YS this year. 😱

Unfortunately Henry had a bit of a hard landing and cracked his right landing gear leg. Within minutes we connected with Mark Atwood who, in turn, connected with the South African team and arranged for some CF tow to make repairs. Big shout out to Andrea Stockwell who brought the repair supplies all the way from S.A.!!

Henry works his magic!
We were quickly able to return the favor by transporting some motor mount parts from the French team back to Andrew Jesky who was helping out the South African junior. John is queued up to make the swap back at his hotel. Everyone wins!

In the meantime, Mark Atwood is trying to track down the shipment of Thunder Power batteries for both US and Canadian pilots. They are in the black hole of “customs”. 

Update at 19:00 local: No batteries yet, No Japanese planes yet! We relaxed around the yard and then went into town for some dinner & gelato

Chad packs up after a nice F-19 round.
Off to fly!
Cool and comfortable at our AirBnB.
The team also received our Processing and Official practice times as follows....

Our official practice will be at site B.  Off to bed.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Full Practice Day 1

We were up at 7am for breakfast.  It was very good.. especially the coffee!

Both Michi and Henry headed off to the practice field with the rest of us hitting up the local grocery store for supplies (water,  lunch makings, etc). After a few emails I finally got in touch with John Bentley and he was also headed to the practice field. 

An hour later we all met up with the entire 2019 team together for the first time. We introduced ourselves to the local RC folks that manned the practice field. Through broken "Italish" I thanked them for letting us come and use the great facilities. The guys flew,  everyone critiqued, and the sun baked the heck out of us.. 36º!!! Luckily the breeze helped keep the heat in check.

The planes at rest.
The whole team finally together.
Very fitting.. except no rain... only Sun!
We finished up and headed home but first a stop at the local electronics store to get our EU Sim Cards for our phones. It took a good 30 minutes but we now have 50GB of data for 9 Euro (plus a one time 10 Euro setup fee) each.. Includes unlimited texting... but no phone calls.. perfect (sorry crew scheduling!)

Pizza night Italian style!
Dinner was a short 8 minute walk up the street to the local pizzeria... very good too!  Off to the rack... again.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

On the ground in Italy.

Our flight over to MXP was uneventful and we got off the plane fairly quickly. Unfortunately our bags took some time as the Italian "pace" kicked in. The rental car pickup was straight forward for us and after waiting for Chad's car to be washed (?) we were on our way.

Approximately 100 minutes later we arrived at our AirBnB.  Chad set to work unpacking his plane and charging a couple packs for some planned flights at the World's site.  We got settled into the place and then headed out to grab some supplies (cooler, chairs, etc.) and some dinner. (Burger King)

We met up with Michi, Henry, Norm Morrish, Russell Edwards and Andrew Palmer to name a few, at the world's site. Chad managed a flight while Andrew sorted out some fail safe issues with his plane.

Andrew Palmer gets ready to go.

We wrapped up about 8pm and headed back to the AirBnB for a debrief and some preliminary planning for tomorrow. Chad also made some wire repairs to his electrical setup after experiencing issues after the assembly. All good now!

Off to the rack.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Travel Day

Well the bags are packed and we are off to Milan, Italy via Toronto.  Kelly has all her band stuff loaded up as she is off to Scotland for the World Pipe Band Championships following the F3A competition.  Both Chad & Agnes Northeast got to the Calgary airport early to allow ample to to get checked in.

Kelly is under the 50lb limit.. again!
The hardest part of any trip!
 Both Michi and Henry flew a couple rounds in the Grand Prix before the rains came in hard, halting the competition.  This is all I received as Michi flew pretty well and Henry had to return his rental car to the airport. (a long story)

On arrival in Toronto we met up with Agnes & Chad and quickly got caught up on both family and RC news.  With a two hour wait before the flight to Milan, we enjoyed a couple bevy's at the bar.

We boarded the flight on time and we were off to Italy

Friday, July 26, 2019

Practice Day & Grand Prix F3A FIAM

Both Michi and Henry got in numerous practice rounds at one of the practice fields in the area. They had a good day and have like the fields used so far. They did try to use/visit two others but they were locked up tight.

They headed over to the Worlds location to check out the layout and and also managed to get some flights in. They met up with several other competitors for this weekends Grand Prix event. Michi says that there are 20 entrants for the early competition.  I stole these pics off FB :-)

Word has trickled down that the organizers would like teams to book practice fields and times for their respective teams... wish this was in Bulletin #4!  Although these efforts are well intention-ed, weather, delays etc. will turn these into a first come first served kind of deal. I will keep an open mind and as soon as I learn how to translate Italian and figure out the booking protocol, I hope to get some times & fields booked... although I really have no idea what sites are good/bad for our team.  A tad early in the game but I do have a couple "spies" onsite to assist in this.  I am hoping for updates on Day 1 of the Grand Prix F3A FAIM from said spies :-) 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Arrival & Unpacking - Phase 1

Both Henry and Michi successfully arrived at MXP (Milan) airport yesterday. They collected their boxes and everything was in good condition. They grabbed their rental vehicles and loaded up for the 140km trip to the AirBnB that the team has acquired for the upcoming event. Pictures are coming in so the connectivity seems good so far!
Everything in good shape.
Once at the airBnB they settled in and got some much needed rest. Up early this morning, Michi started the usual assembly process.
Assembly underway.
Henry also got his Element ready and after some breakfast, they headed off to find a suitable flying site. As they are there early they will do some site scouting for the team :-) The site they chose was approximately one hours drive from the guesthouse.

Practice underway.
Henry says conditions are nice at this flying site but the temps are high at 36º C so keeping cool with proper hydration is important.

As the time zone change will effect my blog reports, I may add more info to this one once evening reports flow in from the guys.
Henry & Michi in Italy

Monday, July 22, 2019

Packing and Preparing

Both Henry and Michi have been busy packing planes and bags as they both leave Tuesday for Italy and the World FAI F3A Championships. They will meet up in Toronto and take the "red eye" to Milan arriving midday Wednesday.

They will both fly at the Grand Prix F3A FAIM/ACAME event this coming weekend then continue to practice for the start of the World's competition.

I am sure the time has crept up on them both as the excitement builds.  Chad has also been prepping his boxes for transport as well.
Chad's boxes had to be modified to fit the higher fin profile. Looks good!
Not to be outdone, Chad made up his own stick plane so he can practice on the flight over... should be interesting to watch :-
Henry's boxes feature a plexiglass cover.
Michi has the packing down!
Unfortunately Chad suffered a bird strike last week and had to get Nedim Bek to apply his repair skills... looks like it worked out nicely!
The Paypal pool has been shut down and we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received both through this pool and through private donations. At this point all the team's FAI & Entry Fees have been fully covered! A huge Thank You to all those that contributed!