Jet World Masters Report - Thursday August 20
A big hello to the folks who are joining the distribution list including sponsors of Jet Team USA. I'm Jim McEwen, the Team Manager.
This is the report that send out at the end of each day to friends, family, and sponsors to let folks back home know how the team is doing as well as the
latest goings on at the event. I try to provide an behind the scenes look at the event in an attempt to give you a bit of a feel of what it is like to be here.
Additionally, I try to provide some entertainment as to some of the adventures & misadventures encountered in travelling in Planet Europe.
OK, enough background, let's get to it.....
Day 5 ended with me writing the daily report on my iPhone in the middle of a grass field beside the JWM site. My hotel room was "unavailable" meaning the hotel wasn't staffed and was locked up tight when I tried to check in at 9:30pm. Fortunately, the Dutch Jet Team, who are camping at the site, took pity on me and put me up in a room in their tent complex (aka New Amsterdam). It was a pretty wet and chilly night but I was snug as a bug and had a good night of sleep.
We all woke up at about 7am and breakfast at the field was the first order of the day. The Dutch Team are extremely well equipped campers but Marco was "big man on
campus" when he pulled out a small automatic drip coffee maker. We were soon all enjoying our morning coffee while he set up the miniature stove.
Breakfast was sandwich style eggs, cheese, and bacon on buns. Dutch bacon is available in round slices perfect for this style of sandwich.
I couldn't read the cheese label (which was naturally in Dutch) but I thought it was Swiss cheese as I saw a few holes. I was corrected immediately that it was
Dutch cheese from a Dutch cow.
But it was the kiekeboe that caught my eye. Dark (Dutch) chocolate sprinkles on toast is apparently a much loved breakfast in Holland and with ex-pats around the
world. OK, and I thought we were bad in the USA with our Coco Crispies or Krispy Crème.
The jet crates arrived in Germany on Tuesday morning, were released from customs in Stuttgart yesterday, and the shipper promised to have them delivered this morning by 10am or 11am. Scott, Betsy, Jason, and Elizabeth flew in yesterday and were jet lagged so I told Scott & Betsy that they might as well sleep in rather than rushing to the field. Jason and Elizabeth were driving down from Frankfurt and they would have been even more wiped out especially because their flight out of Newark was delayed 2-1/2 hours. The crates arrived early and, to my huge relief, appeared undamaged. I borrowed a lift truck and got the crates safely stowed in the US pit area before 10am and ready for the pilots whenever they arrived.
The other competitors started arriving and I enjoyed chatting with JWM friends from around the world as well casually examining the planes (aka checking out the
competition). The bar is set quite high this year. Vitaly as returned with the YAK-130 which which he won the 20Kg class in 2011 and 2013.
With my managerial duties handled for the moment, I thought it might be a good idea to head back to my hotel to try to check-in. Surely someone will be there at 12:30pm right?
I got to my room, washed up from a night at the field, and established an internet connection. I had fifty-five MAILER-DAEMON email rejections, one from each of
the folks who I sent last night's update from the field, so it looks like the internet connection at the field isn't very reliable. I resent the message, but the
hotel must have dial-up or something as it took about 10 minutes to upload each photo which were only about 300 KB in size.
Andy and Johnnie rolled into the hotel about 2pm or so and were thoroughly wiped out and jet lagged. Andy had planned to hand carry his fragile L-39 cockpit but the airline forced him to check it. Result: broken cockpit. Our shipper told us that US Customs had opened our crates so I suggested that, rather than have a nap, going to the field to see if the plane had been damaged was likely the best thing to do so off we went leaving Johnnie to nap.
We got to the field to find Scott had been to McDonalds (good WiFi he reported) and had the Sabre half assembled. David appeared a bit later and set to work
assembling the MiG. Andy and I unpacked and got the L-39 fuselage assembled.
There was a fair amount of activity at the airport this afternoon. There is a local parachuting club which was jumping for most of the afternoon. We also watched
some well done landings of a few local light planes. The treat, though, was a scheduled low flyby of a Dassault Rafale. It was supposed to do a few passes but had
to loiter for a while till the parachutists landed and this must have cut into his fuel.
Scott learned a valuable lesson in electricity when he blew out Andy's 110V to 12V inverter by plugging it into a 220V electrical outlet. The boom was loud enough that some folks though the Rafale came back for a supersonic pass. I guess there are still a few jet lag cobwebs in the noggin'. I've been here a few days longer than he has and I'm not firing on all cylinders, in case you hadn't noticed.
Andy and I returned to the hotel, picked up Johnnie, and we all went for diner at a nearby restaurant. The local beer was fantastic but for some reason the main
course was delayed. Andy and Johnnie were fading fast so the filets (beef & pork) were quickly devoured, dessert/coffee were cancelled and I drove them back to
Rod's and Chad's flight arrives tomorrow around 10pm so they should put in an appearance at the field sometime in the early afternoon, or not, if they don't sleep on the flight and go to the hotel instead. The team is scheduled for practice flights on Saturday afternoon which gives enough time to get everything assembled and tested.
The weather report is for partially cloudy tomorrow, when some teams are scheduled to fly, but clear and sunny on Saturday so we should be good.
Wish us all luck and many thanks to you for your interest and support of Jet Team USA.