Friday, July 2, 2010

Practice Day 2

This morning saw the first Team Captain meeting, attended by both Grandpa and myself. We discussed such things as a speed limit on the airfield (Apparently some unknown person was traversing the field at seventy kilometers per hour. We now have a speed limit of twenty kilometers per hour.) and Mochovce, the nearby nuclear power plant, which has been classified as a no-fly zone. At the pilots meeting, which is open to anyone, we learned the results of the first practice day, and one of the US pilots, Bill Snead, won first place in the World Class.

Take-off and starting times all went smoothly today, and I finally got to announce something on the radio, always a reason for celebration. Grandpa and I split lunch time, so that there would always be someone monitoring the radio. Everything went very smoothly, until about three o'clock, when we received word that one of our pilots had landed out. After sending his crew on their way with GPS coordinates, Grandpa and I spent about an hour trying figure out how to use the SPOT coordinates to create a detailed map with directions from the airfield. After many trials and experiments with the Windows program AutoRoute 2010, we now know how to take a SPOT message, even without a phone call from the pilot, and quickly come up with a usable map and directions for the crew to use.

After our lengthy trial and error process, I took a short photography break. Sharon Jankowski, the crew for Mike Smith, allowed me to experiment with her SLR Nikon camera, and I took about 150 pictures in twenty minutes, and will shortly be receiving photography lessons from Sharon. Before leaving the field, Grandpa and I put up and American flag which covers over half of our office wall. I think we can officially say that our team headquarters is the most patriotic.

We returned to our hotel for dinner, where we had the best ice cream in the entire world for dessert, along with chocolate drizzled crepes. Afterwards we took a short walk through Bojnice, and up to the beautifully restored castle, less than two blocks from our hotel. That's all for today, we'll have the last practice day tomorrow, and the opening ceremony on the third of July.

-Blair Mockler