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21st World Precision Flying Championships - Day 04
Hoping to get an early start to our practise now that all the planes have finally arrived, we were disappointed to see that the entire town was covered in dense fog until about 9 am.
Determinedly we fought our way to the front of the queue to put our names down for landing slots, and each pilot also managed to do one of the practise routes.
Hans and Ron fight on valiantly with the aeroplane that is so unfamiliar to them, and are familiarising themselves with its quirks. The others also did very well today, considering this is the first full day of flying that we have had.
After today’s briefing we attended a presentation on ANR, which is a newly-devised type of rally in which four contestants take off simultaneously; each aeroplane then flies through a “corridor” similar to a normal rally but with much shorter legs, and then they all land at the same time. Apparently this sport would have a much greater spectator value than a traditional rally, and looks quite exciting for the pilot to participate in.
Old-time rally pilot and SAPFA committee member Walter Walle and a friend of his came to visit us to offer their support for a few days. While Walter lives in Bloemfontein, he also has a home near Kassel in Germany.
The airfield is getting much busier, and posters and notice-boards, bunting and signage is making the very dour space look a lot more cheery. With the sun shining, the little seating area outside the catering kiosk has become quite a popular place to be, and although the airfield is far too large to be suitable for spectators, it is close enough to the apron to provide some interest.
A webcam has been situated on top of the kiosk, and from there our supporters, family and friends can see some of the action. It is available on the championship website www.wpfc2013.
Tonight we were treated to a barbecue (yes, a braai!) in one of the hangars on the airfield, where the German sausages and beer were devoured in huge quantities in a very short space of time. Hungry work this flying business!