News from Croatia – World Precision Flying Championships July 2002

News from Croatia – World Precision Flying Championships July 2002

7th July 2002

“Dobra Dan from Hrvatska” (Hello from Croatia) everyone at home. This is the first day that we have a couple of hours to spare. This afternoon the opening ceremony took place including very good aerobatics by the Red Bull Team with 4 Zlin aircraft.

South African Precision Flying Team arriving in Croatia
South African Team on arrival in Croatia

Croatia is a beautiful country but very poor. A person can notice the effect of years of communism. There are nevertheless a lot of new buildings and some old buildings that are being restored. The people are very friendly and about 10% understand if you speak English or German.

Everyone is fine and the spirit is good. We believe we can do well even though for most of the European entries it’s their backyard. The flight from Graz in Austria to Zagreb was also quite an experience with 6 C150’s in the group. We have completed our practice. The countryside is extremely difficult to navigate. There is a huge amount of detail on the map and even more on the ground. Your brain goes into overload trying to make sense of it. If you go off track you might as well turn back because you can never get back on track again. The maps are also about 15 years old!

The photo’s attached are small images formatted for email but I hope that you can at least get a sense of what’s going on.

“Dovijenja” Goodbye

Jan Hanekom

10th July 2002

Croatia World Precision Flying Championships - grass runway
On finals at the competition airfield

“Dobra Dan”

We flew nav 1 yesterday and since got our results. Nigel is 2nd Adrian 15th followed by Hans, Barry and myself at 40th. I unfortunately made an error in the theory which cost me 175 penalties.

We flew nav 2 today which went reasonably well for all of us, except for Barry who had a problem getting to the finish. We are waiting for the results. It is very difficult to predict the end result, given that only the best to navs of each competitor count for the final positions.


Croatia World Precision Flying Championships - terrain

Tomorrow is the official landing competition which will last the whole day. Hold thumbs as naturally we want to do well in the landings. Yesterday we had a nice surprise when two Italians we met during the 99 World Rally Championships in Ravenna, Italy flew in to see us.

Jan Hanekom






12th July 2002

“Dobra Dan”

The South African Precision Flying Team - Waiting for the rain to stop
Waiting for the rain to stop

Well the great news is that the South African team has won the landing trophy. Nigel together with French competitor Patrick got 4 penalties for all 4 landings. Unlucky for Nigel, Patrick is the World Champion in landings as Nigel’s 2nd (Glide Approach) landing was a -1. This put Nigel in 2nd place. Adrian was 3rd with only 6 penalties and I came 6th with 22 penalties.

Today is the last Navigation exercise and we all hope to do well, but there has been a lot of rain last night and visibility is poor.

Greetings from the team to all at home.

Jan Hanekom