3D Downunder 2003 - Page 2
The decision was made to change the flight line to take into account the cross wind which could have become a safety issue.
The first fliers up were the Beginners, of which there was only one, Anton who has to be congratulated for having the nuts to get up there and give it a go in front of a lot of people!
The intermediate guys put on a good show and I was especially impressed by Andrew Donaldson's rolling circle with what I think was an Ergo 50. There was plenty of talent in this class and I'm sure we'll see it develop further before the next event.
The open class was next and there was plenty of good flying to be had here with a good mix of big open technical flying and low impressive stuff all done to music which added another dimension to the flight.
I was second in the flight order and nervously carried the Vigor out to the
flight line. I had choreographed the whole flight and Darryll was going to stand
next to me with a sheet of paper and a stop watch and call the manoeuvres for
me. This all worked fine in theory but we'd never had a chance to actually fly
to the music before leaving New Zealand. I had broken the music up into four
different segments which had different music mixed in together for the different
styles of flight that happened in that segment. The problems began when I arrived
to start a manoeuvre far too early and ended up waiting for the music to start
the second segment, then I had race through and even drop a manoeuvre to get
to the start of the third segment. By now I was pretty gutted, and so had to
ad-lib a few of the joining manoeuvres. The low inverted hover was at the end
of the third segment and seeing as I'd made such a hash of the flight so far
I thought about trying to replicate the blade scuff I'd accidentally done for
the photographer on Friday. I got very low but chickened out at the last minute
as I didn't want to wrap the CS up and look like an idiot in front of all these
As expected, Jamie Wilson put on a great flight pulling some nice smooth manoeuvres ending with a chaos auto. Very nice.
What was great was as each person was flying everyone else was lined up behind the judges cheering them on and clapping, this, with the music, added a bit of a 'party' atmosphere to the whole event which made it thoroughly enjoyable.
With the first round over it was time for lunch and the organisers went away
to decide if the weather was going to allow a further round. While this was
going on the Auto contest got underway. I thought I'd be smart and do a very
slow auto down to allow me time to line the heli up with the target, however,
by the time it got near the target I had little rotorspeed left to maneuver
and landed outside the circle which was a little embarrassing. For the next
auto I dived it in and got one of the skids on the target which was a bit better.
Shortly helis were lined up idling away waiting for their turn.
The guys from Rotormotion came past my pit area with their new Bergen Intrepid
Gasser and asked if I would fly it in the speed runs to see what it would do.
I was dead keen on this idea as I'd heard a lot about the Bergen Gassers and
was very keen to give it a go.
One of the major attractions for the Sunday was the arrival of two very large
scratch built turbine helicopters, one in a Long Ranger fuse, the other, pod
and boom mechanics. These were serious machines alright, I believe they were
about 16-18kg a piece dry. I know this cause picking them up was a bit of effort!
Each machine was equipped with 950mm SAB blades.
The flightline re-opened to general flying, however with the rain coming in some of the out-of-towners started to make their way home while the rest of us headed back to the motel to relax and in my case, disassemble the helicopters back into the Curtis case.
3D Downunder was a great event, it was a shame about the weather and all, I
think next time people will probably adhere a bit more to the schedule as things
did slip a little, but in the end everyone had a tonne of fun which is all that
matters. We saw some great machinery, some great flying done by great pilots
who were among the large group awesome people we met while over there. At this
stage I haven't heard of when they intend on repeating this event, but if/when
they do, it's one not to miss!