Saturday, June 29, 2013

rain, rain, rain and even more rain

We will be flying tomorrow. WE will BE flying TOMORROW. WE WILL BE FLYING TOMORROW. Today is the official opening ceremony day. Weather is still very bad and everybody is concerned what's going to happen with the big airshow planned for 2pm. They are talking about delaying it since the weather is supposed to start improving in the afternoon. The opening ceremony is not an issue cause it can all be done in the hangar which is big enough. We are all nicely dressed up and ready. Some even more than the others:

Weather forecasts for the next days are very promising and we should be able to fly every day. I'm really looking forward to it. Having the best glider you can dream of makes you want to fly every day.

After all the exercises in the rain yesterday my only "flying" shoes got wet. It's so moist that nothing wants to dry. The first thing we had to do in the morning was finding an outdoor equipment store to get new, dry shoes. We succeeded and I am now a proud owner of proper winter tracking shoes. Who would have thought I would need shoes like these mid Summer?

We'll at least my feet are now warm and dry.

intro this a proper introduction or what? They keep publishing posters like this one on the organizer's Facebook page. Love it!

The big opening ceremony with a preceding airshow are on schedule tomorrow. We'll be wearing our cool team uniforms. We've got really nice clothes this time thanks to Agata and Zott.

Friday, June 28, 2013

practice day

Yesterday was the mandatory practice day - everybody had to fly. You didn't have to fly the set task if you didn't want to but you had to grid, launch etc. to practice the whole procedure. I did test all the instruments and the engine. There is still some fine tuning to be done on the LX. I've got too many warnings turned on and the lady keeps yelling on me constantly. I have to turn some of them down. I can't do it today though - it keeps pissing rain and the temperature is just above 10 degrees C ...

here we go for the very first one!

she's a good girl

they haven't started harvesting yet
We also set up the team "control center" in the tie down area. Putting up the antenna required 10 young French blokes and a huge drill.

One of our club class team members had an unfortunate outlanding and hit a rock with the wing tip. Luckily the damage wasn't too bad and one of Ziggy's many talents fixed the problem. They managed to get some glass fiber from the local hardware store and patch the hole. Ziggy is pretty good in laminating! Hours of sanding later the glider is like new and ready to go again.

We just finished all weighing procedures and are finalizing all little bits and pieces.
One more interesting story:
I was registering and my documents were checked. I have a valid European Class 2 medical certificate (valid till 2015) which turned out to be not "valid enough". There is a French requirement that your medical cannot be older than 12 months ... WTF? Luckily I packed my Australian licence and Class 1 medical JUST IN CASE. The Australian medical was done in November 2012 and is less than a year old. It turned out that the Australian medical is good and "valid enough". So now I'm legal flying a German glider with a Polish licence and Australian medical.

getting ready

As already mentioned we have safely made it to Issoudun. Ziggy is a new self announced ASG-29E dealer and promised Uli to sell at least 10 gliders every day. He already started on the way down here and managed to sell 10 to Taiwan. To be honest we're not 100% sure the customers are from Taiwan - the language barrier was just to heavy. We assume they are from Taiwan. One way or the other the glider was a sensation of a French highway rest area.

We are appropriately stocked up for he competition. The glider trailer wasn't enough this time and we had to organize alternative transport for our beverages:

The day after we arrived we only managed to rig the glider, set all the instruments and just stare at the beauty. The LX9000 is an amazing thing. It's so intuitive that you don't even need a manual to be able to use  it for the first time.

We also learned that French wine is pretty good indeed:

Ziggy in his new work uniform

Thursday, June 27, 2013

welcome to France

We have arrived and are extremely busy organizing things. Just these 2 pics today. Hopefully more tomorrow.

rigged for the very first time

XM in her PJ's

Good night France...

Monday, June 24, 2013

positive jet-lag effects

Ziggy has jet-lag. This is something that he claims never affects him at all. Yeah, I've seen it before. His standard is to wake me up around 4 am and try to convince me that we should hit the road earlier ...
Anyway, the same happened today and it was so worth it. We witnessed this little miracle in front of the window of our guest house room. How cute is that?

Now we're getting ready to hook up the trailer and hit the road indeed. Next stop: Metzingen.

meeting XM for the very first time

Although we've seen her on photos before we had no idea how beautiful she really is. Today is a great day. We picked up our glider from the factory and she's better that we could have ever imagined!

The service offered by Schleicher is second to none. Uli organised a proper car for us and picked us from the airport in Frankfurt. I can use his parachute and he equipped the trailer with all the little things that we will need during the competition. He even thought of a bucket, rugs and washing stuff to keep the glider clean. Gap sealing tape is also included.

We also visited Wasserkuppe. It is amazing how much is going on up there and how many tourists make the trip to see it all. We've been to the gliding and models museum which was incredible. We're having such a great time that we don't even think about jet-lag.

yes Ziggy, we know you have a gold badge with 3 diamonds too

Few more hours to go and we'll be going downstairs to the guest house restaurant for Kassler Braten, Sauerkraut, Kartoffeln and the October Fest size beer that Ziggy requested this morning. Even my braces won't stop me from enjoying it.
Tomorrow is an early start. Direction: France. We will stay over night on the way though. 1000 km would be too long of a drive to do it at once. Hopefully we'll find another nice guest house where Ziggy can have his dream Bratwurst and ... beer!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

first day in Germany

We have arrived! It was a long and exhausting trip but we made it and so did all our bags. We also had a pleasure to fly the big beast A380. It is indeed more comfortable than all the others that we've flown before. We survived the 13.5 hours flight with just a bit sore bums.

We've been talking about people fainting on planes before and sure enough some 4 hours into the flight we had a gentleman who wasn't well and fainted. Ziggy The Hero got him back and they didn't have to turn the flight back. The plane was full so we didn't get an upgrade but were served beautiful desert and champagne from the first class kitchen. That was delicious!
The second flight, 6 hours from Dubai to Frankfurt was straight forward ... except for finding the right gate in Dubai ;)

Just kidding ... there was proper info in English too but I just find this one so much more interesting.

We landed on time, collected our bags and Uli was already there to pick us up an drive to Poppenhausen. We stopped at their little private strip to grab the parachute and have a look at the place where all Schleicher gliders have their first flight. They have an amazingly beautiful spot there!

amazing all wood hangar

Uli and Zig

We are staying in a beautiful traditional guesthouse with Wasserkuppe views, good food and beer in decent sized glasses. This is what you call living!