2015 F3C World Championship BLOG

Team Managers Report - Mike Gilfillan- Saturday 4th July
(1st official\Formal Practice)

Started with a breakfast meeting where we discussed our team day 1 objectives and strategy. We reviewed maps to get a perspective of the area then I took the team to the contest and practice sites.

We selected our preferred practice site and then settled down to check the models and start test flying to ensure everything had survived the trip and was still working. Only Roger’s main gear decided it had had enough. Rog quickly replaced the main gear and all was well again. The team had arrived and all the models were tested and ready for the contest.

Team Managers Report - Mike Gilfillan - Thursday 2nd July

(1st Un-official Practice)

This day was the formal registration, processing of the models and team photographs and interviews. Once this was complete we then started formal practice on the WC contest line. This is the only chance the team get to familiarise themselves with the site before they compete in earnest.

I also have to attend the 1st Team Managers meeting this evening at 19:00.  This is where the WC officials introduce themselves and advise us of the contest procedure and flight orders etc

So to begin my journey I drove from Troon to Edinburgh, then I flew from Edinburgh to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Vienna, Vienna to Klagenfurt and then a car hire/drive to arrive hot and tired at Klopeinersee late on Monday evening.

My job as F3C Team Manager is to look after the team pilots. This entails liaising with the BMFA to complete the FAI documentation and submissions, planning and organising the travel and accommodation, arranging team uniforms and helping to raise funds to assist with costs of competing at the World Championships. I also look after the mechanics and official team supporters.

Another important function of the TM is to study pilots flying abilities and identify strengths and weaknesses with the competition flight schedules. I oversee practice sessions, coach and encourage pilots to continually improve their flying skills and ultimately improve pilot scores. The ultimate aim is to have all three pilots on the podium -  I don’t care which order, just so long as I get my 3 pilots on the winners rostrum - any order will do thank you!

Team Managers Report - Mike Gilfillian - Monday 29th June

(2 Days prior to the team arriving)

Early start to drive to the contest site. At this stage the site was an empty field. However, there were contest organiser arriving and starting to prepare the ground and flight lines. The contest organiser Harry Zupanc met me and very kindly offered me a tour of all the WC sites and points of interest so off we went.

We then drove to practice ground No1 to survey the area and make some notes of the size and flight lines. Driving to practice ground No2 I came across the American team who had arrived a few days earlier. I stopped in to say hello and watch them running through practice routines. Off to practice ground No 3 - nobody there yet. Practice ground 4, I found some of the German team practicing hard.

I then left the contest site to try to find my way around the local roads and get my bearings so that when the team landed I could guide them to all the WC locations and hopefully not get any of them lost! It didn’t take too long to become familiar with the local area because this year the contest organisers have done a fantastic job to keep everything close to the main contest site.

Team Managers Report - Mike Gilfillian - Tuesday 30th June

(1 Days prior to the team arriving)

Up early and off to watch some of the other teams practice while I waited for my own team to blast their way through Euro Tunnel - despite the chaos caused by the French ferry strike! Fortunately my team made it safely and arrived after many hours of driving late on

Team Managers Report - Mike Gilfillian - Wednesday 1st July

(Team Arrival day)

We returned to our preferred practice site around 09:00 and started serious practice. All the pilots worked hard and experimented with setup options throughout the day as we rattled off many hours of practice.

After today’s practice session we all freshened up and went to the WC opening ceremony where we joined all the WC contestants, officials and supporters to officially launch the 2015 FAI World Championships. This was an enjoyable event which was then followed by full size air displays which included the Red Bull gyrocopters and then a fantastic firework display later in the evening.

Team Managers Report - Mike Gilfillan - Friday 3rd July
(2nd  Un-official Practice)