9.00 am. start this morning, but on standby until mid-day due to high winds – still got sun and blue skies. Took the time to visit their windtunnel – it is supurb and quiet!
The five aircraft we are using are two Twin Otter’s, two Beech’s a Dornier a Caravan and a Pilatus. The aircraft formation and loading for the 106 way:
At mid-day the winds were still high, although moderating so the stand-by was extended to 15.00 hrs. It is now just before 15.00 hrs and everyone is waiting to see if it is a go – but no – stand-by to 17.00. But at 17.00 with the winds still above the limits for a large formation the announcement of free beer at the bar was made and jumping finished for the day.
There is a scrambles competition in the wind tunnel tonight – so that should be fun.
It was interesting last night and today talking to jumpers on the 104 way yesterday. They all praised Patrick and his large load organising skills and his general manner – his calm and pleasant approach – I listened to his briefing at 15.00 hrs when those that arrived late were reminded that they have a responsability to the others – if the brief is to meet for a dirt dive at 15.00 then that is when they should be ready to go through the formation on the ground. But it was done with humour but firmness. One jumper commented – it is really nice not to have Americans here – this is a European thing.
Stephen Fradel is having more problems with his freefly formation where they are planning to improve on the 2011 record of 80 with a 108 way. He says that the formation is not presenting problems, but the break-off is as many of the wind-tunnel trained flyers – great at flying head down – but have not got enough freefall flying experience for the requirements at break-off. He reshuffled the team and brought in some new fliers and will be ready for their 4th try tomorrow morning.
We have an 8.30 start for the 106 way.
The stand-down did not slow the film crew down – and one of the pilots took a break.