Today was François’ day to fly. He spent most of yesterday working bugs out of his glider, and today self launched for a short flight before some rain showers.
At the morning meeting we were told the weather would be poor and no tasks were set, and we were offered a tour of the LAK factory across the street which most of us accepted.
The rest of the day we secured a second backup logger for me since my main backup has quit working and checked our radio antenna while François was flying. There was a safety briefing tonight covering landouts and Airspace.
Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be good so we all will fly, and then opening ceremonies in town tomorrow night!
François getting ready to fly
The new Russia AC-4D
Tony Condon and “JEN” ready to go grid. Look at that nice sky!
Team USA at Briefing. L to R: Francois Pin, Tony Condon and Tim McAllister
Tony Condon “JEN” on grid. Where did the nice sky go? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
JEN ready to hook up OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
JEN take-off OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Antonov AN-2s parked on the edge of the field
USA Flag at JEN’s trailer
“JEN” circling over the field
Our crew car is outfitted with a great antenna/flagpole, thanks to Adam!
Today the weather looked rainy in the morning with some good Soaring and overdevelopment potential later. We initially wanted to wait until François was ready but he was busy working out bugs and training his crew so we headed to the launch line.
Pociunai is a true Aerodrome, with about a mile square of pretty smooth grass. Takeoffs and landings are always into the wind this way. We headed to the east end of the field where six Antonov AN-2 biplanes are parked. Pretty soon the Wilgas were ready for me and off we went.
I towed shortly after the day had cycled from a good Soaring day to overcast clouds. I worked some weak torn up lift down low but then decided to run the motor and climb back up. I needed a motor run for the scorers anyway to see the engine noise on my file.
A little sun started to come out and after a second very short motor run I was climbing. After working around the local area a bit, going through the start line, and exploring south until I had just enough to make it back , I figured we had a good day and headed home for landing. Flight was about an hour.
We had JEN in the trailer ahead of some more showers and went to town to do some more shopping. Mostly we went to the hardware store to get a few poles for flags and radio antennas. Couldn’t resist stopping for Pizza again while in town.
When we got back to the airport, lo and behold one of the AN-2’s was out giving rides! It was amazing to watch the big beast fly and the local airport kids enjoyed being blown over by its prop wash.
Short flight about an hour today. Mostly overcast, not very high. Here Leah cleans wings while I take pictures. Headed to town to get some supplies!
Today we rigged, starting to get Leah and Adam checked out on the Electro, officially registered for the contest, and got both my glider and François’ through scrutineering with no issue.
The process is pretty simple mostly making sure that all the proper paperwork is in the glider and that you are under the max allowed weight.
We contemplated flying but decided not to. There was a pretty good cycle in the Soaring weather this afternoon and it looked really nice later. We had a Team Captain meeting tonight where a few questions were answered.
Briefings will be at 10 AM with grid before that. With probably less than 15 pilots in our class and a good portion of them likely self launching it shouldn’t take long to get us in the air each day. The club has a big fleet of Wilga towplanes that should do the job neatly.
Ready for scrutineering.
We had some rain and overcast today so no soaring. We did venture into town for some culture! Here are some pictures for you to see.
Picture of Carving Commemorating 2009 European Glider Championship on the field.
Adam and Tony on the club house’s porch
Continuing Tony’s tradion of eating pizza in each European County we has some Pizza when we ran into Prienai ( town) for supplies. The waitress was kind and humored my humble attempt at ordering in Lithuanian and then took the boys’s order in English.
Here I am after we finished the decal exercise yesterday. Thanks to everyone who helped me make this trip possible!
Adam and Leah and I had a productive afternoon. We opened the trailer for the first time and took inventory. We had a few more sponsor decals to add, did a little tuning, installed the FLARM, and added the Contest Letters to the glider. We are now officially JEN!
Leah cleaning up JEN
Adam working on contest letters
It was a pretty good Soaring day and I suspect most who flew enjoyed good flights. Tomorrow and the next day are supposed to rain. Not sure when I’ll fly. Still need to figure out some turnpoint and airspace files and get the flight computer all set up.
We’ll charge the batteries up tonight and be ready to go when we can.
Tim McAllister is now here. He’s flying an LS-3 in the Lithuanian Nationals as a Pre Worlds before he returns next year for Club Class Worlds.
François should be here Wedensday. Bob Fletcher should also be here soon, he’s flying the Pre Worlds too.
Talk to you later!
Posted by Leah Condon – Monday July 27
Just a quick notes on buses for those who may see this and will be joining us here. From the baggage claim area follow the signs for “autobus”. The buses pick up across the street from the airport’s exit. Vilnius city bus lines #1 and #2 will take you to ” Stotis ” which is the bus hub. You purchase your ticket from the driver and use the little red box to punch/ validate your ticket. The bus ride is a little longer than I expected with many stops before arriving at Stotis. This is pretty a round about with the train station at one end. There are kiosks located on the outside of the circle selling various bus and trolley tickets. They are not what you are for if you want to catch a train to Prienai.
There is a strip mall on the train station’s left which has a Eurolines & Iki sign out front. Enter here but do not bother with the Eurolines desk as they only sell international tickets ( I did stop and talk to them first….). Continue straight passed them and to the right is the “iticket.lt” shop. It was here that I was able to purchase a ticket on the Kautra line to Prienai without having to transfer in Kaunas. The bus sign said “Vilnius-Prienai” in big font and “Trakai-Bristonas” in smaller font. All four of these locations have stops with a building. The ticket desk spoke about as much English as I did Lithuanian but we got it figured out. Ticket was less than 7 euros. The out of town buses are not at the traffic circle but if you turn right out of the “iticket.lt” office walk straight out the doors ahead and you will see platforms with numbers.
Another thing is on the bus to Prienai my driver did not callout any station names and many of the stops were just a bench in the country along the road. It is about a 2-hour ride to Prienai so after about an hour you may want to start paying attention to the town signs. There is an actual parking lot at the Prienai station so no need to get off at the one right before you enter town.
A big Thanks to Morgan and Mick from team Australia for picking me up! If anyone needs me to return the favor put a comment on here and we will get something worked out.