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Old Aug 24, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Tragic case
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Sydney Australia
Joined Feb 2002
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Although there is still one round to go in F5B the shape of the top of the table, and ufortunately for me, the bottom of the table is now fairly clear.

Wolf Fickensher has a clear lead at the top, he was 25 points ahead after 5 rounds and increased his lead with a fantastic 49 legs in round 6 with Heiko Greiner next with, I think 48 or 47. There were a number of incidents in this round but the major talking point was Jeff Keeseman (not sure of spelling) having a battery go on him in the distance task. In the pits we didn't know how bad the problem was but the USA team did. They landed immediately rushed to the pits and just about had the battery out of the plane when a cell exploded splashing Jeff and Steve Neu with pottasium.

Michel Uzan also lost a plane due to radio interfence (as I was thermalling at the time I didn't see it, but I did hear the thump) and at the bottom of the list there was the usual collection of incidents with controllers, props and various other bits causing problems.

Thomas Pils managed 45 or 47 legs in round six (from memory) and his power system seemed down on the day before. By my calculations the Germans were 1, 2, 3 after round 6 then Thomas Pils and then Rudi Freudenthaler.

In round 7 Heiko Greiner again flew spectacularly fast and with two base B cuts still managed 47 legs. The Swiss team had a poor round and Marco Cantoni topped it off when his gearbox blew up in flight.

It was Thomas Pils last chance to recover and he attacked the course with tremdous skill and aggression. However whether due to radio interference or whatever there were some incidents and some cuts. Having completed 40 legs Thomas flew half the 41 st leg inverted about 1 metre off the deck and rolled away into his climb. Due to the apparent interference he was granted a reflight but it still produced a sub 45 leg round (with the sun being a factor).

As stated above the USA team generally seemed down on power compared to the pre event comp and compared to day 1 of the WC.

Australia had a relatively uneventful day with scores of 37 and 37 (Dave Hines) and 33 and 36 (me).

Barring major disasters tomorrow is likely to be a formality for most.

That the Germans do well is no surprise. They have a large and well organised team. They have so far completed every flight, have not required a reflight at any stage and have been consistent. They have been able to rise to every challenge as required.

The Austrians have also been strong. The USA have done well, but faded towards the end. Russia have also provided a strong team, as have the Belgians.

For myself I have ejoyed the event greatly. Most people on the F5B scene are friendly and helpful. One acquires a great deal of knowledge of F5B flying at a competition like this. Hopefully its not to late to apply some of the lessons in the future. At 240 amps the battery technology, is as ever, on the edge. Batteries taken off a charger at 45 deg C were registering 10 deg higher (for me at least) 15 minutes later after being left in the Sun. GP3700s have only just enough duration at these currents. Most of the top flyers (but not R. Freudenthaler) seemed to be using IB4200s SHV but the number of incidents with these batteries shows that further progress is required.

Romania has been a pleasant suprise. In Pitesti I have found an open and friendly society, good food and weather, and adequate shopping.

Tomorrow afternoon marks the start of a 1700 km drive through South Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro and on into Western Europe. Looking forward to getting back but sofar its been a very enjoyable expidition
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