Dutch Jet Team -> News about the team


Sunday 15 July 2007

03.00, wake up call!!! the boat was scheduled to ofload at 05.00 allready, so wakeup was early, so was breakfast. At 04.00 we where of the boat and on our way to the Channel Tunnel. Not a nice thing to do this time of day after only 4 hrs sleep. Still, the drive went okay, and at 09.30 we where in Folkstone. Originally scheduled to go on the train at 14.30, we could go on the next at 10.20. The third car (Wim) was put on the train of 10.42. We all ignored this little fact, without problem we all got on the same train. the trainride only takes half an hour , but due to time zone, we got driving at 12.00 again. After picking up fuel (really expensive in England and Northern Ireland) the long haul home started, only interupted by some pee breaks. Donald was home at 15.00, Hans, Ben and Wim around 16.00 and Han was home by 17.00. A lot better then the originally anticipated 23.00-24.00.
In retrospect, we had a load of fun. It has been a great 2 weeks, with a very nice event and many new and renewt friendships. Spirit was good throughout the event. Organistaion was a little chaotic at times, several items got in place first several days into the event. Many people helped out and together the event was made a success. The Cyprus team knows first hand what to look for in 2 years. The Organizing team in Northern Ireland was not large, only 3 guys in the core team, and although limited in resources, a lot of work got done to set things up, with a few more people it all would have been perfect. Aside from some organisational hickups, and the plenty rain we endured, in the end the event got finished in time, and most had a very good time.
Robert, Aidan, Sean, Thank you for organising this event.

Saturday 14 July 2007

Update 09.00: It is nice weather. The sky has blue, the sun is visible, perfect flying weather and nice weather for closing ceremony. The cars are packed and we are ready to get out to the field, do the ceremony, and go home. Tonight the plan is to get on a boat from Larne to Fleetwood, and from there we drive to the Chunnel. Long drive ahead, but that is for later to worry about. This is most likely the last update for a few days.
Update 14.00: The closing ceremonie has been finished. The weather was nice, afterwards it started raining again. The remainder of the dutch team left right away to make it to the boat in Larne in time. The drive to larne went without issue, well in time for the boat. We had late lunch at downtown Subways, it took Han more then a week to get us in there (he wanted to go in Enniskillen also). At 19.00 we made it to the boat, it was not large, and this made Han a little nervous since he suffers terriby from sea sickness. The boat left at 21.00 and we were lucky to all get our own cabin. At 23.00 Ben and Wim were the last to get to bed.

Friday 13 July 2007

Friday the 13th was a good day for JWM2007, there was just enough good weather to finish round 3. Already during the last flight the rain was a serious thread. The competiotition was done around noon. The rest of the day it rained. Ben spend most of the day working on the scoring program, several enhancements need to be implemented to finish the program, some bugs needed to be fixed. Also the amount of pictures that need to be processed takes time. Breakfast was at 14.00, unfortunately the cafe boss finally tuned in to the large amount of customers, so the regular menu, which we started to appreciate has been changed into a fast menu, beef or chicken stew with either chips (fries) or rice. I can not recomment the beef and chips (and I did not like the look/smell of that other meal).
During the afternoon Hans, Donald and Han assisted Wim in some engine maintenance, the old engine was put in again and adjusted for better performance. This was done under guidance of the manufacturor, since many are present this week.
At 19.30 it was time to go to diner. Choice again was the Manor House hotel. Again a pleasant evening, long talks with Dave Shulman and Dewey Davenport. After watching some hilarious movies about some flight that Dave did, we went home around 12. Yet another busy day. For Saterday the closing ceremony is scheduled, and afterwards the trip home. This will be a long drive on Sunday. Many have left already. Due to lack of a flying airplane, Dick, Derk and Bert already left yesterday, today Marijn and Joan loaded up the F-16 and drove home, Ali went to fly home. Many started packing and preparing for departure. Best thing is, it seems to become nice weather tomorrow.

Thurday 12 July 2007

The decision was made to take it a little easy this morning. A little later, but still early, we went to the field. Today, July 12 is a national holiday, and all shops are closed, also the cafe. This meant that we had to get breakfast somewhere else. This else was take awy breakfast at the gas station. This does save time...
Ben spend the rest of the morning getting the score sheets ready to be published. This took so long time that lunch was forgotten. At around 14.30 Ben was just in time for the flights in round 3 pf the Dutch team. Wim had to fly first, followed by Hans. Circumstances were okay, but the wind was a little floppy. Unfortunately no scores yet, only hope. After a break (the airport claims the runway every few hours for 30 minutes) and a Team Jet demonstration (2 jets flying a program on music, really spectacular) it was Han's turn. All three ilots made save landings. This concluded the third round, we are done. Due to the nice weather, flying continued till 20.00, although Nations night is scheduled. Most of round 3 is flown, if weather permits it will finish on Friday.
After a light diner, pizza's and salad for Ben (!) we went to Nations Night in a hotel. This event is part of the IJMC tradition, it gets all countries together. Unfortunately Avi from Israel already left, and also Tom Wilkinson was not present, he left for home 2 days earlier feeling sick in the tummy. (this was coused by eating fish at Manor House, guess what Han ate the night before at the Manor House, and how he felt today...).
Each country is presented and will bring gifts for the organisers. also a bottle of booze is presented for combat drinking, yet another IJMC tradition. Close to 24.00 we left, the comabat drinking was scheduled later. By the painful faces of six candidates, we will tell how succesful it was. Everybody is starting to feel the fatique, we are here for a week and a half, and make long days with little sleep. Saturday we will be on our way home. We hope the wetaher holds to finish round 3 in time, so saturday the ceremony can be done early.

Wednesday 11 July 2007

We took it easy, this morning. We slept in, till 8, and left the house at 9. This was a welcome break of the ritm. Afterall, the meeting lasted long, we went to bed late.
The weather did not quite bring the promised sunshine. By now, no one is surprized about that. Still, it was not raining, only heavy clouds. Humid also. The dutch team was scheduled to fly, but still there was time for a nice breakfast. (Thursday is a national holiday, I wonder where we should go for breakfast since the cafe is closed). After breakfast, Ben went to update the website, the rest went to prepare their planes for the upcoming flight. The circumstances were not to bad, still clouds, but sometimes even a lost ray of sunshine. The wind was moderate. The circumstances were fairly ideal for this country. Han and Hans flew before lunch, Wim flew after lunch. All three made a serious improvement in their flightscores. All planes landed safely, so everyone was in very good spirit.
Unfortunately, some dipute had to be settled. There was a registration problem, and the aftermath could result in disqualification of some pilots. Severall meetings of competition staff and later with teammanagers led to a solution by the end of the day. This is the darker side of competition at world championship level, but in the end a solution was found.
At the end of the afternoon, at 16.00, round 2 was finished and it was time for the airport break (the airport has slots for general aviation flight operations). During this time the order of round 3 should be calculated, but due to many circumstances at the same time, this had to be done several times to finaly clean the list to reflect pilots still in competition , in the correct group, based on the correct variables, calculated in the correct way. This all let to a little rework. Still, a rough draft could be made available, and at 18.30 round 3 started.
After yet another diner in the Manor House (we returned for a meal and their applepie desert, only to discover that the pieces of applepie were only half of the day before...) we were home by 23.30. Ben still had to rework some calculations, and in the proces found and fixed 2 other bugs in the scoring program. This ofcourse took time, so the intended 'leave early for diner, go home early, go to bed early' theory is at 01.45 proven wrong. The things we do for our hobby...

Tuesday 10 July 2007

Monday evening we all went to the Manor House hotel for the Irish Night. The party was a little slow in the beginning, but very nice at the end. Several people performed on stage, and others performed at the table with a botlle of rum.

Teusday morning we went to the field late. The weather was marginal, but there was some flying. Round 1 has finished. Right after a start was made to round 2. With Donald and Ben taking shifts at the flight line, and Hans and Dean James in the pits, many pilots had to negociate the cold and especially wet weather. Troughout the day there was som threat of rain, often a little drizzle.

Unfortunately we lost another plane, David Kelly from Scotland lost his little L-39. Still, all the work that Han did to setup the plane of Dave Shulman paid of, no more glitches, good reception with the weatronic box. Donald was the Flightline director during that flight.
In the evening, after a tough teammanagers meeting the team went again to the Manor House for the IJMC meeting, and quick diner. The meeting started at 21.00, and even that late time meant we had to hurry to make it. The days are long, in this hobby. The meeting had it's usuall items, and ofcourse the final presentation of the host candidates for 2009. After the very good presentations, and some rounds of questions, the vote went to Cyprus. One thing we know for sure... It will not rain...

Monday 09 July 2007

Early edition 12.00: We made it back. In time even, at 07.30 the Dutch team was back at the field. Hans had a little sleep in, he feld a cold coming up yesterday.
Wim was all prepped to fly, and at 08.30 his turn came up. Conditions were poor, strong 90 degrees crosswind, clouds, nasty cold, moist wind. The flight went reasonable, the landing was not so good. A big jump, and the result was a bend nose gear. This means today 2 repairs need to be done, the Panther and the F-100. So, after breakfast (or brunch, since it was close to 10.00...) everyone started again. At breakfast Hans arrived, he is well again.
During breakfast the news came that flight operations are suspended due to a rare phenomanah of droplets H2O decending rapidly from the skies in large quantities. The locals refer to this as rain...(to be continued)

Update 13.30: We try to get the last to pilots to finish round 1 today, round 2 will not start today due to the wet conditions. It pours down on us here. At least we have Irish Night to look forward to tonight.

Update 16.30: repair on F-100 and Panther is progressing okay. The hangar tents are almost empty, only some pilots working on their planes. Hans went home to catch up with some sleep, and Han and Wim had to go into town to find the car back. Ali could not find it back. During the rain season, some contenders have been transformed to the Scottisch persuation. I wonder if this will guarantee better weather though.
Also, the centercourt is still closed due to rain...

Sunday 08 July 2007

A busy day for everyone. Due to the flightline responsabilities of Donald and the startbox handling of Hans, the group was on the airfield at 07.45. At that time not many pilots are present. The weather wass nice, although a bit chilly, and all day the rumor of terrible rainshowers was to be heart over the field.
The competition is progressing very well. There is a high turnover, often 6 pilots per hour get there turn, all within 10 minute slots. During the day a few times we were interrupted by a short (not light) rainshower, some times because the airport wanted their runway back. Nice collection of planes, a Falcon and a Maule.
Hans and donald did the flight operations troughout the day. At 15.00 Ben took over the role as flight director again, since all 3 dutch planes needed to fly in the late afternoon, so they needed time to unwind and concentrate.
Ben was working the flightline while Dean James from australie was in the pits. The system implemented by Hans and Donald to keep the judges busy (5-6 planes/hour) was working very wel. At 18.00 Tom took the flightline, Ben had to atteend the daily teammanagers meeting.
After the meeting Bn was just in time to see the flight of Han. Han's flight was the first of the Dutch, and his flight was good. The landing was very jumpy, and the situation got worse when the gear retracted. Han selected the gear switch, not the brake switch. Severe damage to the underside paintwork. Not to much structural damage, the plane is still in competition.
After that, with some pilots in between, Hans made a very good flight. The weather was good, no rain, some sun. Then it was a little wait to see if Wim could fly or would be the first in the morning. At 19.50, Wim got the last slot. This was hold up due to a pedestrion walking his dog along the runway. Wim lost the slot, and will be one of the early slots on Monday morning. To bad to loose the good weather, prediction is set to, brace yourself, rain. This means, back at the field by 07.30 to prepare the plane. Keep in mind 40 minute drive, and, due to a nice diner, together with Dave Shulman, and the sorting of pictures and this story, at this moment the clock is at 01.29. Maybe time to go to sleep...

Saturday 07 July 2007

Yet again, a wonderfull day. The weather was great all day long, in the afternoon it was so warm that Christos Philotheou from Cyprus was complaining about the sun. The day started like any other, the duth pilots went to their planes, and Ben went behind the pc with the only link to the outside world as it seems.
There was again a list for practice flights, starting at 8, but it was realy quiet at 8 on the airport. So, at 08.15 Hans was airborne with the Hawk. After that, Both Hans and Donald have been doing the pits and flightline control all day long, since Tom Wilkonson had a certain response to some seafood the day before (this is why Ben always prefers meat...)
All morning pilots were doing practice flights while the judges tried to get through the static judging. Not an easy task if you consider this being the third day, and the judges have to concentrate on each model, AND the working hours from 08.00 till 20.00. Due to delays in static, the program for opening was slightly behind, but at 12 all countries collected for a buffet. At 13.00 the opening ceremony took place, with speaches from Winnie (see IJMC website) and some VIP guests. The countries marched in to stand with their flags, and for each country the national anthem was played.
After this ceremony, typically the competion should start, but since the judges were still tied up in the static judgement, another slot for practice flying was negotiated. Hans, donald and Ben were again doing the pits and flightline. During this period, both Han and Hans did a flight.
Later in the afternoon, the demo flights were performed. These demo flight are done to 'calibrate' the judges (each morning demo pilots will do 1 or 2 flight to 'warm up' the judges and to have the get in the ritm of the day). After this, at 05.30, the competition started, first with Thomas Gleisner, winner of 2005 expert class, and then Thomas Singer, winner of 2005 open class.
Unfortunately, we lost another plane, the italian team lost their Panther. Competition continued till 20.00. The sun is still shining, many people get really red faces, it's actually good weather.

Friday 06 July 2007

Something was different. We got up, and something had changed. We did not know what. The birds seemed to sing nicer, the trees looked greener, the air smelled more fresh, the sky was blue, the people... WAIT! hold that horse, back the truck up... Blue sky???
Yes, it happened. The rain was gone. It was actually nice.
Upon arrival, a little later then usual, the morning routine started. The pilots went to the planes, Ben went to the office to upload this. After that, breakfast, it was already around 10.
After breakfast the team prepared for practice flights. Since the only slots not filled in were during lunch break, Ben relieved Flight Director Tom Wilkinson of his duties, so flying could commence while Tom had lunch. The first flight that Ben guided was the IItalian team, they had a gear isue and needed to belly land the plane. The second flight was the USA team, they suffered an engine flame out, and had to land down wind, at the far other end of the runway. That resulted in a long walk.
After this warm up, the Dutch flew. First Hans with the Hawk (just try to stop him), then Han with the F-100 and finally Wim with the Panther. The flights went fine, altough a fierce wind was causing a turbulent enviroment. Still, all planes came in with no damage. Okay, minor, Han lost some parts during landing.
After this the team went for lunch. The locl cafe on the airport, 20 seats, could not keep up with 400 guest for some reason, their supplies were empty. Hence, an alternative was needed, and since Derk so badly needed a hamburger, we went to McDonalds.
After lunch, it was late afternoon now, Ben was called in to assist with the scoring program. The rest prepared for another practice flight. Again, Tom needed to be relieved, this time Donald assumed the role of Flight Director.
Han made friends with the Americans, he was busy building in a receiver in one of their planes. This brought us into the evening, we left the airport at 20.30 to have diner in town. Home at 23.30, and photo's done at 01.00. Time to go to sleep after yet a busy but satisfying day. And the rain? It did not rain at all...

Thursday 05 July 2007

Thursday morning was an early start, team managers meeting at 08.00 (keep in mind we have to drive 40 minutes to get to the field). And then some think this is a holiday trip.... The meeting reveils that today we will start with the static judgement, after the jury had a preview in the hanger tent to see the fleet of planes. This preview of all planes is done to get an overview what the judges can expect. After that, first at 09.30, but finally around 11.00 the first plane is on the table.
The three remaaining planes (today was certain that the F-16 is not ready to fly, nor will it be...) of the Dutch Jet Team were scheduled almost in the end of the list, which means saturday morning. Since practice flying is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, and the risk of damaging the plane during flying (landing), we were able to move forward a little. First Hans, and late afternoon Han and Wim presented their planes to the judges.
The day started chaotic and wet. Again a lot of rain during the day, and the planes have to be transported 800 meters from the hangar tent to the judgement hangar. This was at first done the old fashion way (walk with the plane, rolling or carrying), sometimes spectacular (put it on the roof of a car, people in the windows, and drive...), and later on the day with a large trailer.
While Hans, Han and Wim, together with Donald where busy with the statics, Ben was back to 'Hungary-style', assisting with excel sheets and getting a printer set up. It was an Epson... (Ben works for HP).
During and after the judging also slot times for practice flights needed to be arranged, fuel (that was late), oil (that was missing), like in the morning when an internet connection was to be found (which was weak and not functional). All this meant little time to eat or drink.
At 18.00 was the daily teammanagers meeting. After that the static judging commenced (till 20.00), but Hans and Han decided that the weather cleared enough to go for a first practice flight. Hans flew, while not in the rain, but at that same time the static hangar (800 m away) was hit by a heavy rainshower, and from the open door we saw a brave (???) pilot flying his Hawk in the distance. Not until after landing was Hans hit by this heavy shower.
Han's flight did not commence, during the preflight test it turned out that the plane was showing serious issues, ailerons in wrong positins, vibrating elevator, it looked like serious electronic issues. A serious dejavu came over us, we had seen this for many days in Hungary in 2005. Luckily, this time the couse was found soon, the receiver was loaded with a default program, not it's needed program. This was easily fixed. We where lucky to have found it in the check, the issue appeared while selecting airbrakes, the ailerons would go up and down. This would mean that when landing, all we would have seen was a rolling plane creating a serious hole in the floor... We were lucky...
After all this we left the field at 20.00, and again with rain we went into town for diner. Yes, in case it was not clear yet, the weather is not to nice...

Wednesday 04 July 2007

After a nice breakfast in a local bistro we made it to the field. It was a rainy day with a lot of wind. the day before a marquee (large tent) blew up, including some of the organizers. Some injuries, it required stiches (and a new tent...).
The teams already present where unpacking and setting up their tables. This was busy and chaotic, every 30 minute another rainshower dropped down on us.

In the meanwhile, Dick, Derk and Bert where flying in to Ireland. News on the F-16 is not good, Marijn claims the plane can not be finished in time. They are driving up to the event.

The planes are being unpacked, and many people are met again. It is a large happy family, many familiar faces from earlier editions of Jet World Masters, and other events.
In the afternoon, the army shows up with 2 Gazelle helicopters. The pilots get fuel, do lunch, and treat themselves to a visit to the hanger tent.

At 18.00 we leave the airport. then we find out that our landlord build a small plane. When seeing Han's event batch with his picture and the word 'pilot', he offers Han to make the first flight, since the landlord just this afternoon had his plane certified, but still does not have a licence. Neither does Han, but that never stopped him...

the eveing we go baxk to town for diner. after diner some demo preparations, including the demo sequence. Without plane, the pilot will 'fly' the show himeself, this looks like drunk pinguins in a mating dance...

Tuesday 03 July 2007

The team was up at 06.00 local due to the PA system that announced a new bright day (at 06.00????). After a good wholesome breakfast the trip continued on the brittish island. We had to make haste, the next boat would not wait. close to Holyhead, the next harbour to board we saw 2 BAe Hawk flying circuits and other maneuvres. At 14.30 we departed from Holyhead. This trip was windy, rainy, but very comfortable. This also since we had premium tickets, which allowed us in the Plus Lounge. comfy chairs, free bar.

In the meanwhile Han had a slight problem to get started. Scheduled to fly from Germany, to get there with a trainstrike is an interesting challenge...

In the last plane was still being build on by Dick and Marijn. Schedule is really tight, but the plane should be finished for Derk to fly.

After arriving of the 4 in Dublin, the first action after leaving the port was to find a nice pub for some food, while Wim was going direct to the airport to pick up his wife Ali.
Hand, Donald and Ben found the oldest pub in Ireland... Food was really good.
After this, Donald went to wait for the arrival of Han, Ben and Hans went on to the cottage. Arrival at 22.15, and at 01.00 Han and Donald arrived too.

Monday 02 July 2007

Today the Dutch Jet Team started to travel. 3 Cars with Hans, Ben, Wim and Donald went to Rotterdam to board the "pride of Rotterdam" to sail to Hull, UK.
The weather during the afternoon and evening was not good. Sometimes sunny, then lots of heavy rain. After leaving the harbour it turned out that there was half a storm on the Northsea, hence the boat was filled with 'drunk' people when they walked around. Since we watched the departure, we missed diner, luckily very late we good get hotdog, pizza and tosti. The cabins where the size of a closed, still good sleep 2...
Sleeping was okay, at least the movement of the boat was less an issue...

Sunday 01 July 2007

The team is ready for departure. Some will drive, via the UK, some will fly. 3 Airplanes are ready and have flown. The 4th, the F-16 is ready, but not yet flown. This will happen upon arrrival.
Half the team will be at Enniskillen on Wednesday July 4. Some, incl. the F-16 is scheduled to arrive late on Wednesday.

Spring 2007

Many things had to be arranged, and the webpage was not always the #1 priority. Still, it is all getting together. Travel and lodging is booked, the team outfit has been designed and produced. Besides the last minute little things, the bigger things (team, planes, outfit, accomodation and travel) is all pretty much in place.

30 December 2006

Preparations for WJM 2007 has been underway for several members during the fall of 2006 and the team is taking shape. A number of logistic issues has been solved for most team members including lodging during the event and recruitment, enrolment and now the focus is to get the models prepared for the event and prepare the flight program. Our pilots will compete in both classes and will enter a number of scale aircrafts.