Storm(s) on my head


It was just coincidence. I decided to join organizer staff after Eurotour F3B Brno Cup 2009 which was held at July 3-4th this year i.e. three weeks before this  F3B World Championship. This contest was organizer failure and there was danger that in same way could happen also F3B World Championship 2009. Not easy decision for me while my intension for this season was just to relax. Anyhow there was in game reputation of Czech F3B community and maybe even reputation of whole my country. This was serious challenge.

Since mentioned Eurotour Contest we were with RC Club Brno really hardworking to be sure nothing is underestimated. I was responsible more or less for complete sporting part of whole event and I decided to make following measures:

1.It was clear to me that I can’t be CD sitting somewhere nearby tap (nice idea) and not taking care what’s going on winchline. Actually we were three there; me, another starter Jarda „Hippo“ Hlavko and Michal Behensky as our winchline support.  I could count maybe minutes when we were not complete presented during whole event at winchline.

2. I established Base Bosses. Theirs responsibility was permanent communication with CD/Starter.  But not only this, they were permanently checking work of buzzermans/buzzerladies (yes, there were three buzzerladies, btw they made just no one mistake during all 7 flying days). Referees/buzzermen have no time to talk via walkie-talkie during measured flight . Thanks to Base Bosses I was usually informed who cut base B or A even before somebody from affected team started to claim “no signal on Alpha” …

3. I selected young strongly motivated (money) people as buzzermen. There were also some older men (and nothing against them) but majority were young people. They stayed in same place i.e. no shifts between bases. There was threat of financial penalty in case of repeated wrong ringing or loosing model on course.  I also strongly warned them about “help” to any pilot.  I never had to use these penalties.

4. One whole day before World Cup we were only flying distance and speed trying to run all possible scenarios. This payed off for us. This was possible only thanks to many pilots willing to fly at official training day. Thanks.

OK, there was Saturday morning and we could start FAI WorldCup as pre-WCh competition. It was running quite smooth but at Sunday I found in two cases that definition of secure/free areas for landing respectively relaunching was a bit complicated. My first intension was to protect referees at B base (eastern course) but it showed as unnecessary later on.

At second TM meeting Sunday late afternoon after tough discussions we have found finally with all Team Managers reasonable compromise as regards secure/free areas. I was also trying to solve claims of Swiss and Belgium teams about 10kHz resp. 20kHz channel gap. This rule is useless heritage of past (it’s not valid anymore starting 1.1.2010) but seems to me somebody didn’t like draw and used this nonsense rule as tool for new draw.  Here I should mention name of Erkki Arima (Jury member) who helped us to solve this boring problem just “five minutes before twelve”. We got also help offer from US team, thanks boys!

Already at mentioned TM meeting Sunday evening there was terrible hot air (more than 33°C) and we were expecting some rains or storms. Nobody expected what happened at 9 PM and later on.  After spectacular lightning show suddenly 120km/h (75mph) storm strikes! We had fear of main hangars full of models and most of teams stuff. German tent just laid down, RSA and Swedish tents disappeared somewhere in deep darkness.

Just on lightning  show on background we were checking if Decker Circus (display) is still standing on expected place. IT tent, just side away of display, was torn within first seconds of storm. I was shouting on people to leave immediately area in front of main hangars because in failure of tent construction people there will be in life danger. We were running around tents and binding all possible air intakes which will allow storm to break in. One tent was just caught on security fence/net and boys were trying to release it. Next day we found that main fence spars 20cmx20cm from steel were just bent. These posts are standing there as memento until now…

We didn’t start and we are already finished, this was running in my head. Fortunately nothing is as hot as cooked. Actually no one model was damaged, one couldn’t believe. Monday morning at 11:00 after laying down another special geo-carpet we could start 17-th F3B World Championship.

So far everything was running halfway decent until Wednesday round 4/group 4. What happened? Together with Jarda “Hippo” in distance task we used here following system of presenting models to referees. Pilots have to wait  for our confirmation e.g. “Alpha OK”. When model is airborne starter says  “Alpha, Alpha, Alpha” and referee knows it’s his model to watch. Next pilot can start and so on.

Today when all models  are V tail, when all models are same from bottom and even from top, when pilots are launching both winchline directions there is no other way known to me how avoid model mistake swap. We confirmed 350 airborne models not counting restarts and groups flying again. Our buzzermen made actually 3 mistakes. One of them was just accidental button press when referee on A base just put down button to button box after seeing model landing on base B.

Quite strong and crowded group was going to fly distance. J.Polzl,  J.Wurts, A.Herrig, Ch.Muller and C.Rosso. Seems to me Joe and Jurgen were already flying and suddenly swiss helper asked for Bravo allowance. Me and Jarda we corrected him immediately he is C (Charlie) and not B (Bravo). Christian got confirmation “Charlie OK” and launched as Charlie. Never and nobody could hear something like “Bravo OK” or “Bravo, Bravo, Bravo” when airborne. Pilots were flying but suddenly I got message from Base Bosses “there is model and we are not sure who is that”.

We found just in fraction of second it’s Andreas Herrig and I asked him to land and launch again. He landed, got confirmation, referee got his model and we could fly, so far so clear. Everybody who was only once standing on winchline as starter knows as good as me that when there are 5 pilots launching, restarting, waiting until last seconds to 4 minute flying time and suddenly all of them  want to start in the same moment it’s not easy to avoid mess/stress.

In this case we had no mess. He was just launching without allowance. Funny thing, Germans were flying on course more than 4 laps without any signal. Sure they had no Bravo signal, while they were not presented to referee. To pilot, to 3 helpers it was not strange after more than 4 laps they have no signal(?), I don’t cope with this fact. BTW by relaunch he confirmed he accepts my request to land and launch again. Sure he lost, because not even Andreas Herrig can fly within 120sec same number of laps as the others within 240sec. German protest was presented…

Overnight Jury decided to accept this protest. Don’t ask me why. I expressed deep disagreement with this decision and we could follow on.  Few important notices to this case:

-We were running here 6 days errorless system and nearly everybody (I guess) was aware of this. Nobody is unfailing, but in this case we (organizers) didn’t make mistake

-When somebody makes mistake he should pay for it, regardless who is that. I would decide same when Czech pilot would make same mistake, believe it or not, for me it’s question of principle

-No flame against Germans, I have many (hope so) good friends in Germany and I treat even bros. Herrig’s  as my friends

-I guess I just became Persona Non Grata on German airfields (hopefully bad joke)

Well, let’s go on. Affected distance group was reflying next day (Thursday). Friday was slowly approaching and I was thinking if we should fly 8 or only 7 rounds, we had enough time for 8 rounds. Weather temperature was increasing, people were at least looking more and more tired. Thursday evening I announced we will fly only seven rounds.

Friday was hot day and another test was just waiting behind the corner. During launch of one Spanish pilot his model suddenly changed direction (turbulence?) of flying path and smashed to group of Ozi (Australian) helpers. Michael Rae fell down and hectic seconds started for all of us. Endless waiting for ambulance (10minutes?),  endless waiting for call from hospital that Mike is OK!!! Yes, seven rounds it was just time to finish this competition. Game was over…

Big thanks to Jury; Tomas Bartovsky, Erkki Arima, Raymond Pavan, Ralf Decker and his Decker Circus melody boys; Holger Reising and Christian Mebus. I was always carefully listening to you but at the end trying to do it in my own way.

Friday evening Martin Weberschock organized unofficial party for our base ringing staff. Thanks to all of you Martin collected more than 600EUR. After party there were remaining 200EUR and 200CZK. With your allowance we will use them at local Czech F3B competitions for referees payment. Hat off for your generosity.

CU soon at airfield anywhere around the world

Roman “Lomcovak” Vojtech

P.S. Nowhere and Nobody can make successful or semi-successful  top and hot event like is F3B World Championship without  your cooperation.  I mean you pilots, TMs and helpers. I guess we were on the same site of river talking similar language. Thanks.

Official F3B 2009 World Championship photogallery
Ivan Franek (Czech helper) pictures

4 comments to Storm(s) on my head

  • Hi Roman,

    You and your crew have our deepest gratitude. The organization and running of this World Championship was fabulous!

    Congratulations on a very successful event!

    Tom Kiesling
    Team USA

  • Hi Tom,
    thank you very much. I’m proud you enjoyed stay at airfield nearby Ivancice.

  • Peter Hubbertz

    Hi Roman, Jarda and Michal,

    thank you and your staff for organizing a great F3B World Championship.
    Hope to share a beer with you guys at any airfield around the world.

    Peter Hubbertz

  • Hi Peter,
    thank you very much. We were trying to do our best.

    We just finished another local Czech F3B contest. Terrible hot weather and we (at least me) are dead. Around 35 pilots flying and we could reward timekeepers among others also thanks to you.

    BTW with Jarda we were celbrating already for 4-th times this year my birthday (I’m sure you know what I’m talking about). Another Swedish mineral water bottle is gone. If you are at Sputendorf we can celebrate already my birthday for next year 😉

    Take care and again big congratulation. To be 2-nd best F3B pilot on the World is marvellous.