Today was overcast when I woke up, and worse than that, the Boulanger did not come this morning! Michael was so disappointed.
We had breakfast and then decided to rig the Cirrus in preparation for gridding ahead of briefing. Once at the trailer, it dawned on me that we only had one wing trestle, the second one was not in the trailer, nor inside the car. We must have left it in the field the night before….This was not a complete disaster, but it would be a loss of a very good trestle that we had only just had professionally made for us in Germany. So we decided to put the wings and tail on the glider, then Steve would drive back the 65 kilometres back to the field with Michael to search for the trestle. Whilst they did this, I prepared the glider and Liz very kindly helped me put it in position on the grid with her car.
Back at the camp site, we were all discussing the previous day, and my phone rang, it was Steve, he had been rushing back to the airfield and in the process was caught speeding by the Gendarme and was therefore now following the police vehicle to the nearest cashpoint so he could withdraw 90 Euros to pay the speeding fine. More haste less speed sprang to mind.
It was almost briefing time and Steve called me again; he had tried to withdraw cash from 3 cash machines and his card had been refused at all three; great. We had already had one experience of the card not working, had already phoned the Bank who had sworn that Steve’s Mastercard had not been affected or stopped. He couldn’t talk anymore and hung up on me.
At briefing an Assigned Area Task of 2:30 hours was set. Still no sign of Steve. It was now 11:45 and first launch was due at 13:00. I had programmed the instruments in the glider and got as much ready as I could, but I would still prefer to know that he was OK before I took off.
A short while later, Steve and Michael arrived at the airfield. He’d been able to leave his Driver’s Licence with the Policeman and had some strict instructions to meet him again on the A20 near McDonalds where he would be holding the next speed trap.
Steve did make it to the Police Officer and duly paid his fine… He also called the Bank, who apologised profusely, as they had cancelled the incorrect bank card. That certainly wasn’t helpful with the predicament that Steve was in at the time!
First launch was delayed as the weather was not very good.
It was delayed a couple more times before I was launched at 14:45. At least today, I was able to stay airborne even if the weather was not brilliant. I climbed to 3500ft, was rained on, but still managed to start at 15:57, just before the rest of the British contingent. I never quite managed to catch up with them though; they were always just that bit higher than me and further in front. Today though, I did manage to fly round the whole task; I didn’t complete quite as much distance as the other Brits, mainly because when I got to Area 2, the weather didn’t look that good ahead and I decided to just pop into the sector and turn for the third area.
I was pleased that I’d made it back, but knew that my speed wouldn’t be particularly fast, probably more average than anything. Part of the problem was that I didn’t was to overdo it and end up in a field again.
We parked up the glider, scrubbed it down and put on the covers. I then went into Issoudun town in order to fetch a McDonalds (at Michael’s request) and to purchase fuel. We first stopped for fuel and we daringly tried out my credit card (same account as Steve’s), which thankfully worked fine. We then stopped at McDonalds to purchase a meal, however my debit card would not be accepted. The Bank had already admitted to stopping Steve’s credit card instead of his debit card in error, could they have stopped my debit card as well in error – perhaps cancelling mine instead of the one Steve lost? (Hope you’re keeping up this this saga).
The end (hopefully) to this case, is that Michael found Steve’s ‘lost’ debit card in the car beneath the passenger seat…
Go on then, hazard a guess, what else could go wrong? I bet you couldn’t even make up a better story than this.