Me and Frank: suiting up with (20kg) parachutes
Saterday morning after breakfast (eggs,orange juice, imperial rolls and croissants+jam) me and my dad drive up to Teuge Airport. According to my dad's GPS- navigator our eta is 1 hr. We will meet Frank at 13.30h, so we leave at 11.30h. (plenty of time we think) It's the 25th of July, hmm, it appears schools out for the summer. Did not expect this... we are standing still and haven't even passed Den Bosch! A holiday feeling creeps up with all these campinghomes, caravans and fully packed cars (really full; towels, panns, pillows, lots of kids, small and larger dogs! pushed together on the backseats). The clock gives 12.11h. when we pass a car with trailer and 2 bikes + a little minibike. He passes us back.
Only 2 instruments in the front: Height and Speed.
We passes him. He changes lanes and passes us. 200 meters further we passes him again; standing half in the berm, smoke coming from the front, people standing outside.. 12.34h. Another 500 meters and we pass the cause of the slowmotion: a caravan with flat tire. Is that all? Soon we are maintaining 105 km on the speed indicator. Our GPS navigator tells us to turn right and leave the highway. My dad yo-yo's. hmm, why use a navigator if you don't follow his suggestions.. 'okay we'll take the turn.' 13.06h. The roads become smaller and smaller, it seems hours we passed the last farmhouse and now the navigator is asking us to enter a dirtroad. 13.14h. This is to much for my dad; he turns. But still discussing the possibility the airport could be at the end of a dirtroad.
Couldn't it? Didn't pass any 'airport' sign, Teuge is not a small airport, we should have seen signs directing people to it. Shouldn't we? Maybe we are heading to the airfield from the 'other side', via a road only known and used by locals.. 13.17h. We got this far, should turn back and make sure we weren't on the good road... so we turn again and find out the dirt road is not the right road. We look at the clock again: 13.23h. The GPS navigator dissapeares, some words are called out, and my dad uses his instincts (yes, the famous male one). Soon we are back in civilization, and I even spot a plane. As my dad is still searching for the plane and telling himself he is too stubborn to turn around again (all in his head;) I see the plane just a bit behind parallel with us, slowly losing height.
early lift off
I try to tell; he is on final leg and starting to land but my dad just growles 'lost as well and trying to find a landingsspot, he?' Then he sees the strip, and my big smile, sniggiring outloud. :D) Though, we are not there yet. I forgot to find out where we would meet up, so we ask around, and end up parking the car and walking passed a restaurant heading to the north for some buildings. Parachute jumping, test rides and flighttraining schools. We go back to the restaurant for a coffee and ask the waitress if she knows. She doesn't, but as i am inside my dad spotts the plane: X300, just next to the terace. We are here. Frank stands next to the plane talking to this guy, putting their gear on and starts the engines.
breaking to the right
The take off is followed quickly by a vertical climb and some special moves. As he moves to the clouds i go to the restroom. On my return the X300 is allready landing again. Me and my dad look at eachother thinking maybe a short extra run as we were late... They park the X300 in front of the restaurant, get out and after some pictures taken, Frank looks at the crowd and yells: 'isabel or .... (can't remember her name) She raises her hand and walks to Frank. Same procedure, some small talk, putting on safety parachute and off they go. It's great to see all the aerobatic figures, imagining i'll be next to sit in this amazing plane with Frank flying!
Within 15 minutes they are landing again.
He lets me climb with 80 kts/hr
Will it really be this short.. Clouds are getting thicker, but still have open spaces too. I walk up to Frank: "i wanna go up". So we go:))
Free of the ground he lets me steer the plane into a climb heading parallel to the runway. Then he takes over.
He's calling out the figures as he goes, i hear the Tumble as 'een dubbeltje', this one was AMAZING!
-1/2 Cuban -Rolls -Stallturn -Tailslide -Tumble -low pass -inverted approach (with max.+ 6,5G)
At the taxi way there are 3 planes waiting for take off. The first radio'd "lining up", as we were in the inverted approach. Frank answers: 'better wait, we'll go first'.
The 15 minutes comes to an end. The plane goes back into the hangar and we go for a drink with the other lucky one, nameless girl, + friend. Frank tells us which figures he flew and we smile in afterglow. Suddenly a cloudburst makes us run for shelter inside the restaurant. It poors! we discover Frank's dog 5 minutes later outside and open the door for him. The dog is soaked!!
The clouds waited for me, i feel truly blessed!!