A Long Way Down The Road To Success!

The European Scale Championships 2001

Richard Crapp Reports:
Kruszyn in Poland
4th -12th July 2001

British TeamWe travelled in Mick Reeves converted Transit Van, all five of us, Team Manager Graham Kennedy, Jeff Brown on his first team mission, Mick Reeves and his wife Sandy and myself, plus three models. 1000 miles! And very economical on LPGthe Transit was. The western part of Europe was uneventful with an overnight stop in Hanover. The Polish border took three hours to cross. Quite good by all accounts, some of the trucks take two days!

The Polish roads are not good, with a lethal white line system unlike anything seen before. The police are waiting over every hill top for unwary foreigners who cross the line. Not locals. (£100 fine on the spot and no receipt, name or number, since you ask!) The roads are lined with Bars as well. That can not help the high death rate of 75 pr day. The roads are also lined with Garden Gnome stalls, "ladies" and LPG stations. I have no explanation for any of them other than a recently oppressed country struggling successfully to catch up.

The Airfield called Kruszyn is at Wloclawek, pronounced Vo-sar-vec. Right in the middle of Poland's Central region. We soon learnt that in Polish W is pronounced as a V. So Wodka becomes Vodka, and very nice it is too!

Opening Ceremony
After an extensive opening ceremony with many speeches, a military band, traditional dancing, and an air display involving helicopters and a trio of Zlin 526's. Excellent. The competition got underway. A new runway and control line circle had been specially built for the occasion. The Poles take their aeromodelling seriously and many school parties were brought round.

The new runway turned out to be not into wind causing many take-off's over the crowd. For this event only, Teams of Five were allowed. Only three pre-nominated members went forward to the team prize. Some countries took advantage of this to introduce new modellers to the international scene. They will not forget it and will contribute to raising standards in their countries.

Static judging started after the first round. It put the Italian Piero Santucci with a Morane Soulnier A 1XXX1XX firmly in the lead. With FAI rules, static counts about 50% of marks so a good set is really important. The best two of the three flying rounds contribute the other halfof the awarded points.

Round one of flying had the Flying Dutchman Gerald Rutann jr. with his F18 jet in the lead. With the Czech Pavel Fencl and his Knoller C11 in second. Another Czech, Petr Tax with an Avro 504 was third.

Weighing In!
My personal competition went something like this. In round one I was on in the late afternoon, a strong wind had got up. Near the limit we thought. I scored 1406, nearly the best of the round, Unfortunately they decided to weigh my model, probably because it had flown in the Large class in previous international events. It was 300 grams over. I had gone to a lot of trouble before leaving home and was confident it was 800 under. They had two sets of digital scales, the first out in the wind jumped around wildly, the second in the hanger showed 300 over so I got disqualified from the first round. They were the same type and had been set up by the same person.

Static JudgingBest two of the three rounds count and are then averaged and added to your static score so my next flights had better be good.

In the next round I flew at the same time of day in the same strong wind. 1299 was not good enough. A re-weigh according to the rules showed my lightened model to be 100 gm under.

Round three flew all the competitors in one day, bottom to top of the scores so far, a new innovation .

Exciting Finish
It made for an exciting finish in the evening and also put me on in the morning calm, so my 1336.5 put me in to an eventual 16 place. Unfortunately on this third flight I went behind the judges line and got a zero for the Static Judging Hangarroll.
The countryside was flat and featureless and I was not the only one to do this. A suggestion for the future is to have the line marked out by some flags.

My Waco was re-weighed after the third round as well, the scales by now in a tent, announced 3.5 kg so obviously something was faulty. We considered a protest as if I had my first round score back it would put
me into the top ten but as it did not make any difference to the UK Team's Bronze medal position we decided not to bother.

I think the Jury were sympathetic and chatting to Narve Jensen he said the proper way would have been a set of scales under each wheel. As per full size practice. I think that will happen in the future. The Competition climaxed with Gerald Rutten jr. just ahead of the rest before his flight. The F18 was rock steady in the strong wind. However, when Pavel's turn came the wind suddenly dropped to zero and he put in a perfect flight to win by 15 points.

Gates of TurunPZL WilgaWell Organised
Considering the short time in which the event had been arranged, the organisation was superb, even with some new innovations such as a time keeping clock that everyone could see.

The analysed scores of each flight were in our hands as soon as the model was landed, AND someone came round with a big tray of cakes every morning and afternoon!

This Polish Aero Club airfield had a collection of old aircraft standing outside, pushed there to free the hangers for our models, It was not long before notices appeared offering flights in the AN2 and the PZL Wilga at bargain prices. The Brits soon rounded up 12 takers for the AN2. Some how this grew to 16 by the time we took off after much banging and clattering from the 30 year old Shevstecof radial. We bravely followed that, in the next lunch break, with the PZL.

The flat and wooded countryside featured many lakes and rivers, and a large prison. I was told this is where they put owners of overweight models!

Great Hospitality!Great Hospitality!
The Poles kindness, generosity and attention to detail was outstanding. On the Friday sight-seeing day they took us to the historic city of Turun and then to a picnic at a hilltop castle with a BBQ and more music with dancing. One of the seven bands that passed before us in six days. The Mayor of Wloclawek is desperately keen that the World Championship is awarded to Poland in four years time and that it goes to his city. Mentioning it in all his (4) speeches, that will be a decision for the Polish Aero Club.

The Aero Club and it's aeromodelling branch are almost a part of government and appear to have full time employees.

They did a fantastic job at short notice. We thank them all very much.

Richard Crapp